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Missing man located Wednesday morning in critical condition

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

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Domingos ‘Branca’ Martins
An elderly man who went missing from his west-end neighbourhood last week and spent several days without food or shelter is in hospital in critical condition.

Domingos Martins, 83, disappeared five days ago.

His family said he went for a walk in a park near Pelmo Park Public School, in the Lawrence Avenue West and Jane Street area, just before 4:30 p.m. on July 28, but did not return. On Tuesday, the family offered a $5,000 reward for any information on his whereabouts.

Dozens of officers and hundreds of volunteers searched the surrounding area to try to find the man — who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has trouble walking and only speaks Portuguese.

Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner said Martins was found around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, stuck against a fence in an industrial area near Weston Road and Highway 401.

“I can’t say enough about how relieved we are that we were able to find Mr. Martins alive and be able to get him to hospital,” he said.

“This man has been out there since last Friday, (an) extremely long period of time in this very hot weather.”

Taverner said it was the hard work of his officers, along with the help of the public, that made this search successful.

“I have to credit our officers for continuing with the hard work — viewing videos from all kinds of sources and finally being able to track where Mr. Martins walked,” he said.

Martins survived five days with no food and no shelter.

“One of our female officers was the first officer to approach him and he grabbed her hand and squeezed her hand … very emotional for the officer as well. A great, great outcome to what could have been a very tragic story,” said Taverner.

Martins’ daughter Samantha said she is very thankful he was found alive.

“Very thankful, very relieved that he was able to survive this heat, cold, rain, thunderstorm … just everything. Very thankful to God, to our friends, to the police, to everyone who helped,” she said.

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