Authorities puzzled over how missing man with dementia got from Port Angeles to Shoreline

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — John Kerrigan, a 73-year-old Port Angeles man who had been missing since Feb. 23, was found safe in Shoreline on Sunday night, Port Angeles police said Monday.

The King County Sheriff’s Office said Kerrigan appeared “wet” and “confused” when he was spotted in the city just north of Seattle at about 6:20 p.m.

Kerrigan, who reportedly suffers from progressive dementia, was taken to Northwest Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle at about 8:30 p.m.

A hospital spokeswoman said Kerrigan was still at the hospital Monday afternoon.

“We have no other information about his status,” spokeswoman Katherine Evans said.

Authorities said they don’t know how Kerrigan made his way from Port Angeles to Shoreline or what he was doing in the Seattle area.

“The thing we’re interested in is how he got over there, for the future,” Port Angeles Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith said.

“We put a lot of work into finding him. It’s a mystery to us how he got there.”

Before going missing, Kerrigan was last seen at his residence in the Arlene Engel Home at 138 W. Second St.

City police provided Kerrigan’s physical description and a photograph to the news media, including the Peninsula Daily News, asking the public to report possible sightings.

The PDN posted the description and photograph on its website, which has between 1 million and 2 million visitations monthly.

Officers reviewed surveillance footage of the Port Angeles waterfront, where Kerrigan was known to walk, and conducted interviews.

“We exhausted every local lead we could think of,” Smith said.

Police checked with Clallam Transit and various taxi services and found no reason to believe that Kerrigan had left town.

On Friday, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue unit assisted police in a ground search in the downtown area.

Kerrigan’s information also was entered into the Washington Crime Information Center as a missing and endangered person.

“The King County Sheriff’s Department was able to run his name very quickly,” Smith said.

“We’re happy that it turned out this way.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 03. 2014 6:37PM
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