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Missing Senior Citizen Now Safe at Home

"He pulled up right outside the door" in his Toyota, said his relieved daughter.

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.

erin February 09, 2013 at 03:52 AM
Glad he's home!
Par4theCourse February 09, 2013 at 04:02 AM
Lol, thought this might have been Mosberg for a minute!! In any event, glad you're home, Pop. I'm up for the next road trip, you sound like someone cool to hang with!
Robyn M. February 09, 2013 at 05:02 AM
So glad to hear the good news! My heart skipped a beat imagining how I'd feel and what I would do if my own grandfather was terribly lost in a storm. I hope he feels calm and safe, and that he takes time to recover. I'm sure, despite his initial gallant reaction, that the whole escapade was extremely nerve wracking.
Deborah M February 09, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Thank God he is home safe! I kept praying just that!!
Dee Palen February 12, 2013 at 11:35 PM
I kind of feel like I'm over stepping my bounds. I truly do not intend to be mean; however; I have to say; that I don't feel this lovely gent should be cruising around by himself. Just the fact that he is operating a vehicle at 93; is quite a concern to me. Not just for his own safety; but (of course) for others as well. I'm sure he is a really nice manand I'm also sure; that it is difficult (as we get older) to be giving up the things you re used to doing on a daily basis. If I was his daughter; I would be in a panic every time he left the house, alone driving the car. I'm glad he is safe; I've been really concerned about him. God Bless him and I wish him well.

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