NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A missing tourist from Ohio who set off a citywide search was found safe and sound Monday evening, more than a full day after she vanished.
CBS 2 cameras were there when the husband of Vivian Minnielli, 61, of Hamilton, Ohio, got the new for which he had been praying. Sam Minnielli’s wife had been found safe and was reported in good condition.
Sam Minnielli got the news from two NYPD officers who walked up just as CBS 2 was wrapping up an interview with him.
“Sir? We found her,” an officer said as she walked up to the entryway of the Hilton Hotel at Sixth Avenue and 53rd Street.
Vivian Minnielli had not been seen Sunday afternoon.
“She was sleeping in a park in the 24th Precinct on a bench,” an officer told Sam Minnielli. “She’s OK.”
Sam and Vivian Minnielli are in New York with their 17-year-old granddaughter, Samantha, for vacation.
Vivian Minnielli was not feeling well and stayed in her hotel room, while her husband and their granddaughter went sightseeing, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported. They returned around 3 p.m. Sunday to find that she was no longer in the room.
“We immediately started searching, found someone in a hall who said they seen her within the last 10 minutes,” Sam Minnielli said. “At that point, we went down to security, they started searching, went through the hotel.”
Sam Minnielli was extremely concerned, because his wife suffers from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She had never disappeared before.
“I knew this day was coming,” Sam Minnielli said, “and I kind of saw this as our last hurrah — take the granddaughter and do a little travel.”
Police had searched all over Manhattan for more than 24 hours. On Monday evening, they said someone saw Mrs. Minnielli sleeping on a park bench at 86th Street and Riverside Drive, recognized her, and called police.
Her family was eternally grateful
“They’ve been wonderful. I can’t thank them enough,” Sam Minnielli said. “They’ve been there since day one.”
“Thank you so much,” added Samantha Minnielli. “I’ve been worried sick, and I’m so glad that you guys found her.”
Police escorted Mr. Minnielli to an area hospital to be reunited with his wife. He said he cannot wait to get her home.
Vivian Minnielli had to undergo several tests at the hospital before she was released to her family Monday night. Her husband said she was doing well.
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