Channel 2 viewer helps reunite missing man with dementia with family

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — After hours of searching, Gwinnett Police have found a missing man with dementia with the help of a Channel 2 viewer.

Channel 2′s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Tony Thomas was in Duluth when 70-year-old Gregory Martin was reunited with his worried family.

A witness, Jason Janifer, said he had just been on the WSB News app and saw Martin’s picture when he thought he spotted him sitting at a table at a gas station in the rain.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

“When I pulled up to the pump, my heart started racing,” Janifer said. “I looked at my phone at your story with the picture, and I’m looking directly across the lot at the man.”

Janifer took his own picture to compare, and then went to help. Janifer said he asked Martin how he was feeling.

“I identified myself and read the name off the story and he said that was him,” Janifer said.


Martin’s family said he walked away from a doctor’s office near the Mall of Georgia Wednesday afternoon. That’s more than 10 miles from where he was found on Duluth Highway hours later.

Police used a search team and a helicopter to hunt for Martin all night long.

After a short warming up in the QuickTrip, Martin was reunited with his daughter.

“We are going to take him to get him a hot bath and a meal,” Katrina Scott said. “We are just excited as a family to get him back home.”

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Scott also had a special message for Janifer.

“A lot of people don’t help these days, but I thank you  for your help and everything you’ve done for my father,” Scott said.

Gwinnett Police said they hope the Martins take advantage of the Operation Lifesaver program, which puts a GPS tracking device on dementia patients so they can quickly be found if they wander off.