MANHATTAN (PIX11) — The family of a missing Queens man with dementia said Jagdis Deonarine was in Bellevue Hospital with critical head injuries for more than a week before the NYPD learned he was Bellevue’s “John Doe.”
“Bellevue Hospital had flyers of my dad, and they didn’t make the connection,” Deonarine’s daughter, Denise, told PIX11 News. “I was physically at Bellevue three times, and they said there was no ‘John Doe.'”
Denise Deonarine had initially reported her father missing on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, after he wandered out of Mount Sinai Hospital on Fifth Avenue by 96th Street. Jagdis Deonarine had accompanied his neighbor from Richmond Hill, Queens to Mount Sinai because the neighbor was having a pre-op medical exam before heart surgery.
“He has been in Bellevue Hospital since February 17,” Denise Deonarine told PIX11 News. “An anonymous 911 caller reported him at 24th Street on Third Avenue. He was in a pool of blood.”
Denise Deonarine said her father has had three brain surgeries since then, and police don’t know yet if he was the victim of a crime.
“His skull is fractured,” Deonarine said. “Tomorrow, he may have cranioplasty.”
Cranioplasty is a procedure that repairs a misshapen skull.
Even though Jagdis Deonarine has been in Bellevue since Friday, Feb. 17, his family did not learn his whereabouts until Friday evening, Feb 24, after Missing Persons Detective Michael McDonough was brought into the case and quickly tracked him down.
“My mom thanked him,” Denise Deonarine told PIX11 News, explaining that Missing Persons found her father in less than 48 hours after the squad was enlisted to help in the case.
Jagdis Deonarine was initially reported missing at the NYPD Precinct in his Richmond Hill community.
Denise Deonarine is upset about the long delay in identifying her father, especially since the NYPD had tweeted about his case.
“How can a ‘Silver Alert’ go out to your hospital and it takes you seven days to contact a family member?” the daughter asked.
Denise Deonarine thanked the Bellevue doctors and nurses for taking good care of her father.
“He opened his eyes for the first time Saturday morning,” the daughter said. “He’s moving his hands. When he hears our voices, he’s groaning.”
The daughter said her father’s head swelling is going down.
PIX11 News was reaching out to Bellevue Hospital Sunday evening and the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation for comment on how the Jagdis Deonarine case was handled.