Forgotten son: Care center waited days to tell Sheepshead mom her still-missing adult child disappeared

Missing: Fredda Anhalt has been searching for her son, Wayne Anhalt, since he disappeared from a Bath Beach adult care center two weeks ago.
Photo by Jon Farina

A Gravesend adult-care facility with a history of losing patients neglected to tell a woman her son was missing for nearly a week after he disappeared on Aug. 31, and he still hasn’t surfaced 14 days later, leaving her worried for his life.

“I’m beside myself. I don’t know how he’s eating, how he’s surviving, I’m going out of my mind,” said Sheepshead Bay resident Fredda Anhalt.

Her 50-year-old son, Wayne Anhalt, is a resident of Kings Adult Care Center, where he has lived for more than two years. He suffers from paranoid schizophrenia affective disorder, a mental illness that can cause scrambled thinking, hallucinations, and paranoia.

Anhalt went to visit her son at the Cropsey Avenue facility on Sept. 1 around dinner time, and a receptionist told her that she saw him leave around 7 am that morning, the mom said. He ran away from the center before, so Anhalt suspected he dashed again and immediately called the police, she said.

Six days later, a social worker from the facility called Anhalt and said that her son went missing after being dropped off for an appointment at Park Slope’s Langone Family Health Center on 13th Street and Fourth Avenue. The care center arranged his transportation there, but he never made it to the consultation after exiting his ride, the worker told Anhalt, who said she should have been informed beforehand so she could accompany her son on the trip.

“Why didn’t they let me know he had the appointment? I would’ve went with him, they know his history, that he would take off,” she said.

Wayne Anhalt’s previous escape from the center lasted two days before his mother found him in front of a Bensonhurst McDonald’s.

And he is not the first patient the facility has lost track of — a 74-year-old woman went missing from it in January.

The case is being handled by the police department’s Missing Persons Squad, which is still investigating it, according to a spokesman. Anhalt said she spoke with the lead detective last week, who told the mom she was contacting the Park Slope clinic to get surveillance footage of her son exiting the vehicle that drove him there.

A care center administrator refused to answer questions about the case and how it keeps track of patients, claiming she legally was not able to comment.

But Anhalt — who has been driving around Brooklyn in search of her son and calling hospitals to see if he was admitted — said something seems fishy and demands to know why she was left in the dark.

“I’m very worried, I just feel like something’s not right,” she said. “I don’t trust the home, why didn’t they tell me the truth right away?”

Wayne Anhalt is approximately 6-feet tall with dark hair and brown eyes, his mother said.

Have you seen him? Police ask anyone with information about this missing person to call (800) 577–8477, submit tips at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or text 274637 followed by TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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