A 93-year-old Parsippany man missing since Thursday afternoon is safe and sound at home after an inadvertent drive to the heartland and back.
Parsippany Police issued an alert Friday morning about the disappearance of John Poje, who was last seen at the Parsippany Community Center at around noon Thursday.
Poje's daughter Lorene Poje said her father usually frequents the Pathmark grocery store on Route 46 on a daily basis and sometimes goes to the Route 46 Home Depot as well. Those were his stated plans yesterday before he took off in his silver 2001 Toyota Tacoma Thursday.
Lorene Poje said she received word that her credit card was used at a gas station in Ohio at around 7:30 a.m. Calling the station, she said she spoke with a woman who reported that the person who used the card matched John Poje's description. The man asked the gas station employee for directions to I-80, his daughter said.
"He's 93 and he has his routine," she said. "He's used to asking for I-80 West, which keeps him going in the wrong direction.
"We just have to hope that he runs out of gas and stops again so we know where he is."
Apparently, the active senior, described by Community Center friends as being "sharp as a tack," figured it out for himself.
Lorene Poje said despite the long drive and the snow, he pulled up at his home in his car at about 3:30 p.m.
"He just showed up as if nothing was wrong," she said, laughing. "He couldn't understand all the outrage."
Police confirmed Poje's safe return and officially cancelled the nationwide silver alert.