LOS ANGELES—Andi Gusmari, a Special Olympics athlete from Alabania, was found safe in northern California after he went missing on Saturday, August 1 at 8 p.m. from the USC campus.
The Albanian delegation noticed Gusmari was missing when performing routine bed checks on Saturday night. He was separated from his delegation when he went to find the bathrooms. Police filed the missing persons report when they were unable to find him after a overnight campus search.
Gusmari, 44 was identified through the missing person report after walking into Hayward Police station, about 350 miles north of Los Angeles around 1:30 a.m. on Monday, August 3, says LAPD. Gusmari was carrying his passport on him at the time.
Details still remain in question on how Gusmari traveled to Alameda County, located in the Bay Area.
Jeff Carr, Chief Operating Officer of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games told NBC LA, “we don’t know how he got there. That’s a question that everyone has.”
In regards to Gusmari’s condition when he arrived at the Hayward Police station Carr says that, “our understanding is he was in good health. He was not injured, he was hungry.”
Police tried to communicate with Gusmari through a translator to understand how he might have gotten so far north, but all they were able to understand was that he was happy to be at the police station. They suspect that he was trying to make his way to LAX, where the Albanian team was scheduled to take off at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday afternoon after the closing ceremony. Gusmari’s family was also notified of his safety after turning up Monday morning.
During the 24-plus-hour searching period, the Special Olympics World Games released a picture and description of Andi Gusmari on their Facebook page and requested help from the public.
LAPD Officer Jack Richter told NBC LA that Gusmari has a speech impediment and does not speak any English. He does respond to his name.
Gusmari’s sport in the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 was bowling. This year, LA hosted 6,500 athletes from more than 160 countries, making it the largest humanitarian event in the world during 2015.
At the end of the games, LAPD posted their thanks to the 2015 athletes, “for inspiring us & showing what true strength is.”
The Special Olympics Winter Games will be held in Austria in 2017.