UPDATE: Michael “Shaka” Thorne was found in Brooklyn after going missing from his home in New Jersey over the weekend, according to his family. Read more here.
NEW MILFORD, N.J. (PIX11) — A 58-year-old transit worker who was hit with a concrete block on the head three years ago disappeared from his home in New Milford, New Jersey, Saturday, according to his wife and police.
Michael “Shaka” Thorne has “severe memory loss,” his wife, Stephanie, told PIX11 News.
The wife said police informed her Michael Thorne’s cell phone last pinged Saturday night somewhere near Fort Lee.
Stephanie Haas-Thorne said she was in the family’s basement Saturday morning and, when she came up to the house’s main floor, her husband was gone.
“He was a track worker for the New York City Transit Authority,” Thorne’s wife said. “I realized oftentimes he would leave New Jersey at 5 a.m. and still be late for work in the Bronx or Brooklyn.”
The wife said in August 2019, her husband was working in East New York, Brooklyn, when he was the victim of a vicious attack.
“He was assaulted three years ago at work,” Haas-Thorne recalled. “Somebody randomly hit him on the head with a concrete block.”
The wife said Thorne never had headaches and was never dizzy, so he went back to work within three weeks, even though a neurologist had diagnosed him with traumatic brain injury.
She said her husband’s memory problems got worse in the summer of 2020.
“I would ask simple things, and he wouldn’t be able to perform my instructions,” Haas-Thorne said, noting that her husband was still driving a car at that time.
She said her husband wanted to keep working because the couple — who have two children and a grandson they’re raising — had just bought a house in New Milford.
The wife said Thorne didn’t want to collect money from workers’ comp.
Haas-Thorne said she finally had to start hiding the car keys when her husband couldn’t work anymore and that angered him.
“He thought it was his vehicle that had been purchased by his mother,” Haas-Thorne said.
The wife said her husband sometimes thought he was still living in New York City or his native Trinidad and Tobago.
The New Milford Police Department has tweeted out photos and a description of Michael Thorne on its social media sites, asking anyone with information to call the department at (201) 261-1400.