Newschannel 6 is taking a look at how the Silver Alert system works in the Texas. It took officials two days to realize a missing elderly man, who was the subject of a Silver Alert, was in United Regional.
Robert Graham, 79, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He went missing from Jones County, Texas. He was spotted in a pickup at a rest stop near Stamford, Texas on Thursday around 10AM. Hours later he was spotted walking near Wichita Falls. Nobody reported seeing him after that.
Jones County officials requested the State issue a Silver Alert. His family thought he might have been trying to walk to Chickasha, Oklahoma. The case met the six requirements for the Silver Alert and it was issued.
Department of Public Safety Senior Trooper Tony Fulton said his agency is charged with helping to get the word out about the alert and watching for the missing person. "(The Silver Alert) information is sent out to local state and federal law enforcement agencies. Its sent out to participating media outlets, its sent out to the Department of Transportation so the information can be posted on the big electronic signs, so it goes to a large group of people," he said.
The information does not go out to hospitals, according to Kim Madden with United Regional. Fulton said it is up to the original agency to check with hospitals. "The local agency, it would be up to them. I think they would check with the local hospitals," he said.
That didn't happen until Sunday evening, according to Madden. She said an investigator looking for clues about Graham called about any John Does. Jones County officials said they located Graham – who had been in United Regional since Friday – Sunday around 5:50PM. Family members reportedly told an affiliate station he had suffered a fall and had a possibly broken hip. Madden said he was listed in fair condition.
When asked whether she feels hospitals should be notified of Silver Alerts, Madden told Newschannel 6 she feels it depends on the case.