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Searchers Find Man Who Left Care Facility

Ventura County | IN BRIEF / OJAI

April 29, 2002|From Times Staff Reports

A 64-year-old man who got lost when he wandered from his Ojai residential care facility was found Sunday in a wooded ravine after spending a chilly night outdoors, officials said.

Dennis "Steve" Gertsman sustained a minor head injury and was "cold and lethargic" when he was found about 8:30 a.m. by a Ventura County Sheriff's Department search-and-rescue team, said Senior Deputy Julie Smith. Fifty rescue workers took part in the search.

Gertsman, wearing a purple jogging suit and an identification tag, walked out of the Casa Blanca Residential Care Facility on Rockaway Road about 6 p.m. Saturday, Smith said. Overnight temperatures had dipped into the high 40s.

He was taken to Ojai Valley Community Hospital, where he was treated and released.

The facility has a locked gate, but employees told investigators it does not always close properly, Smith said.

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