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Disabled man, missing 12 days, found safe

Margaret Wener hands out fliers and food on Friday to a homeless group near 30th and K streets in hopes of getting information regarding her mentally disabled son, Michael Fristoe. After being missing for 12 days, Fristoe was found safe Saturday in the Arden Arcade area.
Margaret Wener hands out fliers and food on Friday to a homeless group near 30th and K streets in hopes of getting information regarding her mentally disabled son, Michael Fristoe. After being missing for 12 days, Fristoe was found safe Saturday in the Arden Arcade area. rpench@sacbee.com

A Sacramento mother who had been searching for her developmentally disabled son for 12 days reunited with him on Saturday.

Margaret Wener got a phone call in the morning from someone who had read about her son Michael Fristoe, 34, in The Sacramento Bee. The tipster had seen him in the Arden Arcade area.

Wener, who with a team of friends and relatives has been scouring the city for Fristoe and posting fliers about him, rushed to the scene and found him in front of a convenience store near Arden and Ethan ways, she said. Though he was frightened and a bit confused, he was unharmed.

The convenience store’s manager had been giving Fristoe food and looking out for him, Wener said.

Fristoe had never been homeless before, his mother said, and his disabilities made him vulnerable on the streets. He was born with Williams Syndrome, which causes developmental delays, and also has bipolar disorder.

He disappeared April 9 after an argument with his mother at their home in Tahoe Park. She called police after he pushed her against a wall, she said.

Police took him to the Union Gospel Mission on Bannon Street, but he was unable to get a bed at the shelter and wound up outdoors. He was without money or medications or a working phone.

Wener’s phone “was ringing all night” with tips on Friday after The Bee’s article appeared online, she said.

The caller on Saturday morning was a family acquaintance who had seen Fristoe in the Arden area, but had no idea his mother and the police were searching for him until she read the newspaper story.

“When I spotted him, he and I both started crying,” Wener said. “Then I asked him if I could hug him.”

She said she planned to take him to a hospital for an evaluation before bringing him home.

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