A search is on for man who wandered away from his 83rd birthday celebration

Police are searching for a man with dementia who wandered away from a celebration of his 83rd birthday Tuesday.

Jesse Jones, a retired professor of criminology at University of the District of Columbia who suffers from dementia, disappeared during the gathering at Busboys and Poets on 5th Street NW around 3 pm.

He was there with five other residents of The Residences at Thomas Circle, a retirement community in the District where he had lived for the past six months. Two staff members and two private aides were also there.

“We’ve hit the 24-hour mark and we’re more and more concerned,” Angie Layfield, the center’s executive director, said Wednesday. Layfield described Jones as “very physically healthy, well dressed and put together, and very friendly...It’s very likely that he will strike up a conversation if he is standing next to you.”

Jones suffers from high blood pressure as well as dementia, and needs medication, she said, adding that he would not know how to take shelter as temperatures drop or find his way home, although he may know the number to call his wife, who lives in Northwest DC.

Jones, who is African-American, is 5’7” and weighs around 160 pounds; he was wearing navy blue pants, a navy blue jacket, glasses and a black fedora when he disappeared. Anyone with information can call 202-727-9099, 202-576-6768, or 911, police said.

Tara Bahrampour, a staff writer based in Washington, D.C., writes about aging and mental health.
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