Missing NY Man with special needs found safely in North Hollywood

A man who reportedly left his mental health facility in Albany, New York and took a Greyhound to Los Angeles was found unharmed Saturday night.

Rodney and Kiki Johnson we're watching FOX 11 Saturday night when they recognized Dewayne Williams.

"When I saw it on the news and he said it was him, I looked and I was like 'oh yeah' I was like 'it is him!" Kiki said.

The couple was having a cup of coffee last week at a McDonald's restaurant on Vineland Avenue and Riverside Drive when Williams approached them and asked for a cigarette.

"He looked so--he looked to be disturbed. He looked to be distraught and depressed."

At the time, the couple didn't know the 22-year-old struggled with schizophrenia and other mental healthy issues, but it was clear Williams needed help.

"When I looked in his eyes I saw like a dead stare," Rodney told FOX 11 reporter, Leah Uko.

When they saw Williams' mother, Tekeya Gibson, stepmother Jasmine Pinn and his brother and his girlfriend flew in from New York to find their son, they were relieved to know they recognized their son.

"It makes me feel good that I found this young man for his mother. She came all the way from New York. That's a real mother," said Rodney.

They drove around the area and found Williams bear Lankershim and Vineland streets.

"Sure enough he was sitting outside of ‪Carl's ‬Jr.," Kiki explained.

Rodney said Williams looked nervous.

"I stayed back off of him, but at the same time, I made sure no body was messing with him. As soon as he laid down on the bench, we called the police then we called his mother."

Family arrived within minutes, as well as officers with LAPD.

Gibson was unavailable for an interview, but confirmed her son was found and unharmed.


A family is desperately searching for a man who walked out of a mental health facility in New York and took a Greyhound across the country to Los Angeles.

Tekeya Gibson speaks with her son, Dewayne Williams every day. So when she didn't hear from the 22-year-old last Friday, she suspected something was wrong.

Gibson went to the mental health facility where her son was residing and discovered from another patient that he left and caught a Greyhound all the way to Los Angeles.

Gibson said Williams, who is schizophrenic and autistic, had been obsessed with the idea of living in LA for while, so she knew he was determined to get to the city.

"What's worrying me is that he may get involved with the wrong people. Someone may do something to him," Gibson told reporter, Leah Uko.

"We keep hearing these stories about people who go to Skid Row and never come back from there."

Immediately, Gibson, Williams' stepmother Jasmine Pinn, Williams' brother and girlfriend caught a flight to LA to search the city for him.

"We've been everywhere day and night. There's no end to it," Pinn said.

The family put up Missing Person posters of Williams. They focused primarily around downtown LA and Skid Row, but were planning to search Hollywood on Sunday.

Gibson described her son.

"African American. Light skinned. He's approximately 5'8". He weighs about 140 pounds. He's very thin. He's very thin. He has short, curly hair."

Family stated Williams was last seen exiting the Greyhound station downtown and was wearing a blue Tommy Hilfiger jacket with a Kets fan shirt, a white buttoned down shirt with blue jeans and Nike tennis shoes.

His mother said he loved sports.

"So he may be anywhere trying to play basketball. Trying to see a game. Anywhere that sports may be involved."

A missing persons report was filed with police in Albany, New York where Williams is from. The agency has shared the information with LAPD, but family said they need all the help they could get locating Williams who, as of Saturday night, was combing through unknown territory in the country's second most populous city.

"So we need the help LA. I know we're not from here, but this kid traveled all the way here with a disability and we need the help," Pinn said.

Gibson pleaded for help.

"We're not calling from New York asking for help. We're here. I'm not asking somebody else to my work for me."

Family back home had given money to fund search efforts including flight, nightly hotel stays, food and a rental car.

But if the four of them run out of money, they will resort to sleeping in the rental car. It was a sacrifice Gibson and her family were willing to make until they found Williams and brought him home safely.

"I love you Dewayne. We're not mad at you. The family is not mad at you. So if you're not calling us because that's what you think, you can call us. We'll come get you baby wherever you are. Okay?"

Family asked the public to share Williams picture online and to keep a watchful eye out for him.

A GoFundMe account has been set up under "findWayne".

If you see Williams, please contact LAPD at 911 or the family at (518) 506-5282 or (518) 902-5050.