Missing 81-year-old Lake Helen man found safe in Orange County

Courtesy photo / Donald Bennett, the 81-year-old Lake Helen man reported missing Tuesday by his family was found safe earlier in the day Thursday.

LAKE HELEN -- Donald Bennett, the 81-year-old man last seen pedaling his black trek mountain bike on Tuesday when he was reported missing by his family in Lake Helen, was found safe today in Orange County and reunited with loved ones, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.

Donald Bennett left his house at 1210 Deer Run Court at about 1 p.m. Tuesday. His family was worried because he has Alzheimer's and takes medicine for the condition, but did not have any with him when he left. But when he failed to return home from his bike ride after an hour, the Sheriff's Office was called by family members. 

This story had a happy ending, though.

"A citizen saw him at a convenience store near the intersection of Piedmont Wekiwa Road and East Semoran Boulevard in Apopka," Sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught said. "The citizen had seen his picture in the news, recognized him and reported his location to local law enforcement. A family member was notified and went to a police sub station in Apopka to pick Bennett up."

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.