Missing man found dead; care home under investigation - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Missing man found dead; care home under investigation

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Our interview with 56-year-old Melvin French's niece and great-nephew had to stop from time to time as they dealt with French's death a day after his body was found.

"And we just don't know if he closed his eyes or what?" said niece Jackie French Wordlow.

"There were freezing temperatures outside and no evidence of anyone doing anything to him," said great nephew Ronnie French.

French, who suffered from early stages of dementia, was reported missing February 6th.  That was the day after he walked away from Nookie's Loving Care Home on Mt. Olive Street.  Supervisor Bertha Jordan is beside herself.

"He got past me this time," she said.

She said she spent three days looking for French herself, although her care home is only required to set a curfew.

"We can't tell them they can't go anywhere," said Jordan.  "That's against rules and regulation."

French's body was found in a wooded area near Douglass Park.  It's less than a mile from the care home.

In a statement, a DHS spokesman said the Adult Protective Services division is investigating for potential signs of neglect on the part of the care home's staff that may have contributed in any way to French's death.

"I don't blame them 'cause they watched him as closely as they could have," said Jackie French Wordlow.

The family is trying not to cast blame for French's death at a time when there are so few answers.     

The medical examiner has yet to determine French's exact cause of death.

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