PAOLA, Kan. - The Kansas Highway Patrol said the body of a 92-year-old man who wandered away from his assisted living home Monday was found at about 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Authorities found the body just 150 feet from the Country Club Estates Assisted Living Facility, 2 Lewis Dr., in Paola, when Earl "Andy" Anderson had been living.
Joe Flake, a captain with the Paola Fire Department, spent the night searching in the exact area where the body was found. He says he's disappointed that rescuers had been so close to Anderson but were unable to find him in time.
"It's kind of frustrating. Even with good lights you can only see so far. We all drove slow, everybody has their eyes peeled trying to find something," Flake explained. "It's a tough thing. I think we're all disappointed."
Police officers say Anderson left from the assisted living facility sometime Monday evening, and he was last seen at the Casey's General Store between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Monday. Employees there said Anderson used to live in the neighborhood of the general store with his wife, and they speculated Anderson may have been trying to find his way home.
Anderson's family said he had dementia.
A second search began at 7 a.m. Tuesday. His body was found around 9 a.m.
Friends said Anderson lived in the Paola community for several decades and had previously worked as a mailman, so he had contact with virtually every person in the community of 5,000.
Anderson's wife and family also live in Paola, according to a family friend. A pastor who knows the family says they are heartbroken about the news.
The Country Club Estates Assisted Living Facility did not offer any comments as of Tuesday afternoon.
The most recent inspection report for Country Club Estates, dated November 14, 2012, showed no deficiencies. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services is conducting an investigation.
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