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Elderly man with dementia abandoned by family in foreign country: Report

Would Roger Curry have been better off if he hadn’t returned home?

Relatives of an elderly California man with dementia are accused of flying him to England and abandoning him thousands of miles from home.

Emergency responders first discovered Roger Curry, 76, in a parking garage near a bus station in Hereford, England, in November 2015. At the time, according to the Guardian, Curry was with two men who flagged down a passing ambulance. One of the men had an American accent and left the scene while paramedics tended to Curry, according to Fox News.

The paramedics took Curry to nursing home in Hereford, a small English city less than 20 miles from the Wales border. There, staffers cared for him while police tried to pin down his identity. According to the BBC, nursing home staff repeatedly asked Curry for his name — and in one instance, he stated it correctly — but the staff couldn’t be sure it was actually his name. Over several months, Curry settled comfortably in the home and became a staff favorite even though no one knew who he was.

But BBC investigative journalist Darragh MacIntyre would soon get a clue: After a woman posted a 1958 yearbook photo of a man named Earl Roger Curry on the BBC Facebook page, the reporter headed to Los Angeles, rightly convinced it was the man she was looking for, and having determined that Curry recently lived in L.A.

The reporter began speaking with Curry’s neighbors in Los Angeles and learned that the elderly man’s relationship with his son was volatile. A neighbor told the BBC that he saw Curry and his wife camping in the yard behind their house, which had been burned in a 2014 fire. The neighbor said Curry’s son had been bringing the elderly couple food and had locked them behind the fence.

Law enforcement officials in Los Angeles reportedly believe Curry’s wife Mary and son Kevin took him to Britain and abandoned him there. It is unclear if they are expected to face any charges.

Kevin Curry denies the accusations and told the BBC that his father had to be hospitalized while they were visiting the United Kingdom.

Curry now remains in a Los Angeles nursing home while the courts decide his fate. “As Roger faces an unknown future,” MacIntyre wrote, “I’m left wondering whether he’d have been better off had his identity been left undiscovered.”

 

Photo: West Mercia Police