20 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by dorispectorfineart
Patch Instagram photo by dorispectorfineart

How Jose Was Finally Found in Philly

Police: "Devereux did everything right" in search for a man who wandered off in Easttown and was eventually found in Philly.

How Jose Was Finally Found in Philly
New details have come to light in the case of a client who walked away from the Devereux campus in Berwyn last week.

Devereux and Easttown Police launched an intensive search for Jose Dedin, 45, just as the big snowstorm was about to hit the region last Tuesday morning.  He was found in South Philadelphia and returned safely the following night.

"Devereux did everything right," Easttown Police Detective Sergeant Mike Sesher emphasized in an interview with TE Patch.  Sesher tells Patch that Dedin is a "high functioning" individual who has some intellectual disabilities.  According to initial reports issued before Dedin was found he also suffers from occasional seizures and mood disorders.

He was found knocking on doors of strangers last Wednesday night at 13th and Lombard Streets in Philadelphia. He was not injured and both Devereux and Easttown Police say he was in good health when police got a call from a homeowner who answered Dedin's knock on the door.

While a few of the specific details are still unclear to investigators Easttown Police outlined what they believe happened during an interview with TE Patch. Sometime early Tuesday morning, Dedin, who lives in a house for high functioning adults on the Devereux campus wandered off the campus. According to police that had never happened before. Because it was unusual for him to leave the campus (Devereux previously told Patch that he was free to come and go from his house on campus) Devereux called police and staff began their own search "within a few minutes" of someone apparently seeing Dedin leave the campus grounds.

Police emphasize that it is not unusual for some high-functioning Devereux clients to leave the campus during the day for work or to go places near the campus which is situated a short walk from the Lancaster Ave and the village of Berwyn.  It was unusual for Dedin to leave the campus and the staff reacted quickly. Police began canvassing the area, looking for Dedin who apparently made his way on foot to the Berwyn Train Station where he boarded a city-bound SEPTA Regional Rail train.

Police tell Patch that in addition to officers, a K-9 unit was brought in to try to track his scent.  At the same time, Police Devereux staff members were also searching the area. One local restaurant owner told Patch that Devereux staff members had stopped in to ask if he had been there and to alert business owners that they were looking for Dedin, a native of Venezuela who might have gotten lost in his travels.

From what Police have been able to put together, it appears searchers just missed Dedin before he was possibly seen getting on board a train at Berwyn.

During the search police put out a notice to the media, including Patch which included a photo of the missing man.  Police were concerned that if Dedin had boarded a train without sufficient fare or a ticket, a conductor could have put him off the train without ever knowing he has special needs.

Easttown Police say that apparently did not happen and Dedin somehow ended up at a hospital near the University of Pennsylvania campus in West Philadelphia. Police say that because of the frigid, snowy weather conditions the hospital called a shelter in Philadelphia to come take Dedin to safety.  Police say that it was only after Dedin had been taken to an unkown shelter that a hospital worker saw a photo of Dedin in a Patch Facebook posting linking to the T E Patch article about the search for the missing Devereux client.

Easttown police say the hospital worker did not which shelter had picked Dedin up when the worker called Easttown to tell police what had happened.  Detective Sesher says both police and Devereux immediately started contacting shelters in Philadelphia.  The shelters who were contacted refused to give police any information about who was in their facilities. (That's not uncommon for shelters who want to protect the identities of people who need and use their services). While Easttown Police were checking with shelters both by phone and in person, Devereux also sent staff to Philadelphia to follow up leads and search for him.

From what investigators have been able to determine since Dedin was found safe he appears to have left a shelter around 3 p.m. Wednesday after the snowfall but in the height of bitterly cold conditions.  Sometime Wednesday evening Philadelphia Police got a call from a resident in the area of 13th and Lombard about a man fitting Dedin's description knocking on random doors of strangers.

When Philadelphia Police arrived they were able to determine that the man knocking on doors was Jose Dedin, whose native language is Spanish but who speaks some English and Italian.

Dedin was safely returned to his home on the Devereux campus and officials say he was also given a medical exam and was unhurt and in good condition.

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