James Purcell

[UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.]: Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Sergeant Brad McVay said Purcell was located in Berkeley, California, trying to register at a homeless shelter. Employees there found out he had been reported missing when they called his assisted living residence in Isla Vista. It’s not known how Purcell made his way up north.

When the Sheriff’s Department originally reported his disappearance from Cottage Hospital Monday morning, a spokesperson noted he had limited access to money, didn’t drive, and doesn’t own a cell phone.

[ORIGINAL REPORT]: A 75-year-old man dropped off at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for a doctor’s appointment has disappeared, and the Sheriff’s Department is asking the public to help locate him.

James Purcell, an Isla Vista resident, was last seen at around 10:30 a.m. Monday morning when he was driven from his senior living facility in I.V. to the hospital. The driver returned to Cottage at 11:45 a.m. and learned Purcell never made it to the appointment.

“Purcell has several minor health issues and has trouble walking due to an ankle injury,” said a Sheriff’s Department spokesperson in a prepared statement. “He does not drive or own a cell phone and would only have access to a minimal amount of money. He is considered at-risk due to his mobility and the length of time that he has been missing.”

Purcell is a white male, 6′ 2” tall, 280 pounds, with balding gray hair and blue eyes. He was last seen carrying a canvas bag and wearing a light shirt, pants, and sandals. If anyone has information on Purcell’s whereabouts, they are encouraged to call (805) 681-4150.


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