Andrew “Andy” Dart
Courtesy photo

The search for a missing adult son with mental challenges has come to a satisfactory conclusion. Andrew “Andy” Dart has been found and is OK, according to authorities.

Andrew “Andy” Dart, 45, wandered into a hospital in the San Fernando Valley Sunday afternoon where he was immediately identified, and a subsequent notification went out to law enforcement, who in turn notified the distraught mother.

“Thank god, he’s alright.” Pamela Dart said during a telephone conversation Sunday afternoon. “He’s manic and disorientated but he’s physically OK.

“I want to thank everybody that helped in this search,” Dart said. “I want to especially want to thank the Review for keeping this story on the forefront of the paper. I can’t tell you how many people talked to me about the story and how they kept it close as they searched. This is a great community, so I thank you all.”

Andy Dart had been missing for more than three weeks without a trace and Pamela Dart had become more frantic as each day ticked away with no sighting. So much so, she began to fear for his life.

“This is extremely serious,” Pamela said during an exclusive interview in the Review’s office before Andy was found. “He could be hurt. He does not know what’s going on.”

Andrew “Andy” Dart, 45, went missing July 21. Pamela filed a missing person report the following day, July 22. She had been searching ever since. Andy suffers from bipolar disorder along with other mental challenges, she said. Pamela had conservatorship over Andrew up until about a year ago, when that ended. Pamela was unclear why the conservatorship ended, other than to say it created tension in their relationship and she allowed it to lapse without renewal.

“I’m going to re-instate the conservatorship right away or have a public entity do it. Andrew needs supervision. No question about that,” she said after he was found.

Dart said that she’s had “tremendous help” from friends and even her other son who lives in Austin, Tx has been reaching out by phone.

“I have had incredible help,” she said last week. “Each day that he’s not found, I grow more fearful that something has happened to him. Andy is not a street person, he does not know the streets.”

Having said that, though, Pamela did acknowledge that Andy has gone missing before. In fact, Andy has gone missing several times before.

Andrew was reported missing twice in 2011 and 2012 to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He was reported missing in 2012 to the Los Angeles Police Department and back in 2015, he was reported missing to So Pas police as well as July 22, according to data provided by police. Each time he was returned safe.

“I absolutely do understand what she’s going through and we are doing everything in our power to find Andrew,” said So Pas Police Capt. Mike Neff before Andy was found. “We are checking it every day and following up all leads. We are in communication with the mother and understand her worry and concern. We will keep on it until we find him.”

Andrew lives with Pamela near Garfield Park.

With help from friends, Pamela had been looking at all the places Andrew likes to frequent, she said, including McDonald’s, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and El Pollo Loco, all along Fair Oaks Avenue.

Meanwhile, Andrew’s 45th birthday was last Saturday on Aug. 4.

“I went to church and lit a candle for my son,” Pamela said. “Please come home.”

And that’s exactly where he’s headed.

“Thank God,” a relieved Pamela Dart said. “He’s coming home and that’s all that matters.”

Steve Whitmore
Author

Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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