LOS ANGELES (CNS/FOX 11) - A Special Olympics athlete from the Ivory Coast was found safe Monday in Inglewood after disappearing from Los Angeles International Airport.
From Hal Eisner: Two Lost & Two Found! The Strange End to the Special Olympics
The LA Special Olympics ended strangely for two of its athletes. 44-year-old Andi Gusmari from Albania wandered some 365 miles to Northern California. He walked into the Hayward Police Station just after 2am Monday morning. How he got there and why are still being investigated. The other is Shion Isimel. Police later said his full name is Shion Ange Isimel Kone. The 15-year-old badminton player went missing just after 6am. He and his delegation were at Terminal 5 to board a plane for a 9am flight back to the Ivory Coast. But, he vanished.
For Isimel, who was later identified by the LAPD Shion Ange Isimel Kone, became the subject of an intense search. Airport Police Officer Rob Pedregon says, "We scoured the entire airport, local businesses, restaurant eateries, hotels, bus depots, taxi lots." He was't spotted for hours. Around 3:40pm, police said, someone in Inglewood saw Isimel sleeping on a front yard. They notified police who brought him in. Now, he will go back to the Ivory Coast while Andi Gusmari goes back to Albania. The good news is that both are okay.
The athlete was identified by police as 15-year-old table-tennis player Shion Isimel, but he is listed in the Special Olympics program as Ange Ismael Kone. He had been last seen on surveillance video at 5:57 a.m. at the intersection of Sepulveda Boulevard and 96th Street, according to Airport Police Officer Rob Pedregon.
Inglewood police Lt. James Kirk said the French-speaking, autistic athlete was found safe Monday afternoon. Details were expected to be released at a late-afternoon news conference at the LAPD's Pacific Division station.
Isimel vanished hours after a 44-year-old Special Olympics athlete from Albania was found safe in Hayward, in the San Francisco Bay area, after disappearing Sunday from USC.
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