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Secaucus family thanks police and firefighters for locating missing brother

John Gallegos, who suffers from Alzheimer's, went for a walk and didn't come back

Jodie Gallegos thanked Secaucus police and fire departments for helping locate her brother.

Secaucus resident Jodie Gallegos presented donations to the Secaucus Police at the town council meeting on Oct. 13, to thank the department for finding her lost brother. The meetings, while held in person, are recorded and posted online at secaucusnj.gov.

Thankful for a safe return

On behalf of the Gallegos family, Jodie thanked everyone involved in finding her brother, John, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. On Sept. 28, John walked out the front door of his Secaucus residence.

While he normally goes for walks, this time he didn’t return. Nobody knew John had gotten on a Number 2 bus from County Avenue in Secaucus to Journal Square in Jersey City.

After realizing John was not coming back, the Gallegos family contacted police. Jodie said the Secaucus police, with the aid of the fire department, worked vigorously to find her brother.

According to Jodie, they were out all night looking for him, using K-9 units, helicopters, and any other means to find him. Only through reviewing traffic camera footage were investigators able to make a breakthrough and determine that John had boarded a bus to Journal Square.

In Jersey City, more K-9 units were deployed, eventually locating John safe and unscathed.

Jodie thanked the Secaucus Police Department and the Secaucus Volunteer Fire Department for their efforts in finding John.

Also aiding in the search were the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Jersey City Police Department, Port Authority Police Department, Port Authority transportation workers, Monmouth County K-9 units, U.S .Customs and Border Patrol, U.S. Park Police, and Jersey City Medical Center EMS.

As a sign of thanks, Jodie presented the Secaucus Police Department and the K-9 unit each with checks.

“This is for the dog and only the dog,” she joked, handing the check for the K-9 unit to Police Chief Dennis Miller. The other check was presented to another member of the police department to use for general needs.

After the presentation, Mayor Michael Gonnelli was introduced to John and shared a fist bump.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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