66-Year-Old Royal Caribbean Cruise Passenger with Dementia Goes Missing During Vacation in Mexico

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An American cruise passenger, who was recently diagnosed with dementia, vanished while he was on vacation with his family in Mexico

Edmond Bradley Solomon III, a 66-year-old South Carolina resident, had taken the trip down to the Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas and had planned to spend the day at port in Cozumel, Mexico, according to WCBD-TV.

The former VA critical care nurse had disappeared minutes after getting off the ship at the Caribbean port last week.

Solomon, also known as Brad, was recently diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. This condition is a group of diseases that result in progressive nerve cell loss, predominantly impacting an individual’s behavior rather than their memory.

“His occasional offbeat comments and errant behavior stem from his disease. He can only do what he knows,” said his daughter Savanah Miller. “His ability to process information is different from yours and mine.”

The ordeal began when Solomon and his spouse Mimi left the ship around 1:30 pm on April 3rd. They took a pit stop for the restroom before leaving the terminal.

“When Mimi, my stepmother, came out, Solomon was gone,” recounted Miller. “Thinking he was still in the restroom, she waited for a few minutes. But, he never emerged.”

A relative with the couple had went into the restroom to check on Solomon but found that he was not there.

After Solomon was reported missing just past 8 p.m. on Wednesday, a search and rescue operation began at 9 p.m., as announced by local organisation Cozumel Civil Protection.

During the search effort, local law enforcement received a phone call from a cab driver who claimed that he had picked up a vacationer who matched Solomon’s description at about 2:30 p.m. He was requested to deliver the American at a road that had beach entry, according to Mexico News Daily, referencing authorities.

According to the taxi driver, Solomon compensated for the trip with his wristwatch as he declared he didn’t have any cash with him.

Photos captured search and rescue efforts unfolding in wooded areas during the day and night.

“The search focused on the vicinity of Isla de la Pasión and all the beaches and businesses in the northern hotel zone were visited, without success,” a statement from the Civil Protection read.

Local police said Solomon had a necklace with a GPS, which only works when within 33 feet of his wife’s phone, and was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, grey shorts, dark sunglasses and a blue hat.

Solomon was reportedly spotted later Wednesday evening along the road of Isla de la Pasión in Cozumel.

“The Public Security Directorate reported that Mr. Solomon was possibly wandering around the urban area.”

The distressed daughter didn’t learn about her father’s disappearance until the next morning.

“I got the call about 5:30 in the morning and I just froze,” Miller said. “I didn’t even know how to process this information.”

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Miller and other family members had planned to travel down to Mexico to be with Mimi and help with the search for her father.

I’m really excited about having Mimi with me and the opportunity to hug my dad again,” Miller shared with WCBD.

On Saturday, Miller and her cousins spent the day searching the city for her father, receiving several reports of his possible locations.

Miller has been informed that her father might be staying hydrated and using the restroom facilities at local churches.

“He is disoriented and frightened. He is unable to express or understand emotions as one normally would,” said Miller in a post on Facebook.

A GoFundMe campaign had an initial target of $5,000 to aid the family. It surpassed this amount, reaching over $16,000 by Sunday morning.

Solomon and his spouse were nursing professionals in Charleston. He served as a critical care nurse at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, where Mimi is still employed.

“He was fond of being around his loved ones… always prioritizing our safety and well-being,” Miller shared. “He’s always been someone who likes to mend situations and is naturally inclined to assist others.”

On March 30, the duo embarked on the Icon of the Seas, the largest cruise ship globally, in Miami, Florida. They visited Costa Maya, Mexico and Roatan, Honduras before arriving in Cozumel around 8 a.m.

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