EXCLUSIVE: NYPD searching for LICH patient, 81, who disappears hours after PIX11 reports his strange case

(COBBLE HILL, BROOKLYN) – “They lost him,” That is how one LICH staffer described what happened to Celso Heredia.

The NYPD confirming to PIX 11 News that at approximately 3:30 P.M. they received a call from the private security team at the hospital stating that they could not locate the 81-year-old Heredia.

Detectives out of the 76th precinct along with a K-9 unit were brought in to try and find the Mexican national who has been at the hospital since mid-June.

Detectives did review surveillance video but PIX11 News has learned from NYPD sources that not all the floors as well as all of the exits had surveillance on them.

I first reported on Monday that Heredia, who speaks no English, was admitted on June 15th after he was picked up walking along the eastbound lane of the BQE by officers out of the 88th Precinct.

Celso Heredia

He was ultimately diagnosed with an “Altered Mental Status”

PIX 11 News learned that Heredia’s only address listed is a P.O. Box in Fort Pierce, Florida.  He reportedly had a connection to the address of 108th North Eighth Street in Ft. Pierce, but a woman who has rented out the property for more than 10 years confirmed via a phone call that she does not know him.

As for the next of kin? He has none.

However, what adds more intrigue to Celso Heredia’s case is that last Thursday at 3:58 P.M. someone purchased a one-way non-refundable Greyhound bus ticket from New York City to Fort Pierce.  The trip would last for nearly 27 hours and include transfers in Richhmond, Virginia , Fayetville, North Carolina and Orlando Florida.

The name on the ticket? Celso Heredia.

He never made it.

When PIX 11 News spoke with Heredia in a call, he confirmed that he does not have a credit card and nor did he buy the ticket.

The doctor who conducted Heredia’s late night discharge at 11 P.M. last Thursday confirmed to PIX 11 News that the hospital had purchased the ticket.  Then the doctor confirmed that the hospital was working on purchasing an airline ticket for Heredia.

On Tuesdsy, hours after the initial report aired, PIX 11 news learned from a source inside of the Attorney General’s office that the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is now investigating the case.

Fast forward to today, Celso Heredia is missing.

SUNY Downstate spokesman Bob Bellafiore’s response to his hospital losing an 81-year-old non-English speaking patient with no family in the area failed to acknowledge the disappearance,

“Federal laws are dead serious about preserving patient privacy and so are we.”

They may preserve privacy, but in the eyes of law enforcement they failed miserably at preserving his safety.

Heredia left behind his tiny bag of belongings along with the $300 he had on him when picked up by the NYPD.

A Silver Alert has been issued.

1 Comment

  • natalie

    I just want to cry for Mr Herida. The State University is making a circus out of its illegal actions to close a vital hospital in Brooklyn – one that was consistently at 90% occupancy everyday & was nationally ranked just this month by US News & World Report Best Hospitals as the #2 best in Brooklyn for the 3rd year in a row. This is a hospital that dos not deserve to be closed & Brooklyn is making that known. In response, its operators defy supreme court orders, try to get patients out by dumping them on another state, and when stopped, makes sure the patient "disappears". How convenient that right after after PIX11 reports his story, a patient, who had no place to go & has been at the hospital for over 30 days without ever running away before, just happens to "disappear" while hospital administrators are causing a diversion by handing out over 600 letters telling employees not to come back to work. THE GOVERNOR SAYS NOTHING. I am disgusted. SUNY administrators need to be in handcuffs. Thank you Mario Diaz & PIX. God help Mr. Herida.

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