Missing Athlete Found Hundreds of Miles From Special Olympics - NBC Southern California
Special Olympics

Special Olympics

The 2015 Special Olympics World Games kick off in Los Angeles

Missing Athlete Found Hundreds of Miles From Special Olympics

Andi Gusmari, 44, was last seen Saturday night near the USC campus



    Special Olympics Athlete Found in Hayward

    Special Olympics officials and police are attempting to determine how an athlete ended up hundreds of miles from the site of the World Games. Toni Guinyard reports for Today in LA on Monday Aug. 3, 2015. (Published Monday, Aug. 3, 2015)

    A Special Olympics athlete from Albania was found hundreds of miles from where he was last seen near the University of Southern California campus.

    Andi Gusmari, 44, was last seen Saturday night around 8:30 p.m. He was found at about 1:30 a.m. Monday when he walked into a Hayward police station.

    The Alameda County community is about 350 miles north of Los Angeles. Details on how he traveled to Hayward as the 2015 World Games drew to a close were not immediately available.

    "We don't know how he got there," said Jeff Carr, Chief Operating Officer of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. "That's a question that everyone has."

    "Our understanding is he was in good health. He was not injured, he was hungry."

    Police tried to communicate with Gusmari through an Albanian interpretor, but were unable to gain much more information about the curcumstances behind his arrival at the police station, said Sgt. Ruben Pola of Hayward Police Department.

    Gusmari told police he was happy to be at the station and had been looking for a police department before he made it to the Hayward police station.

    Los Angeles police were working to reunite him with a Special Olympics delegation. Gusmari will return to Los Angeles before a flight back to Albania.

    A Special Olympics spokesperson confirmed an official for the European group will travel to Northern California to escort Gusmari back to LAX. Gusmari would be taken directly back to Europe from LAX to get him home as soon as possible.

    The man's family was notified early Monday that he was located, Carr said.

    Authorities had asked for the public's help in locating the man. Gusmari does not speak English and has a speech impediment, but does respond to his name, LAPD Officer Jack Richter said.

    Richter said Gusmari, who was in the bowling competition, was at a festival at USC with his delegation Saturday and got separated from his group when he went to the restroom. He wasn't identified as missing until coaches realized he was not back at bed check.

    The Albanian team was scheduled to fly out of the U.S. at 4:15 p.m. Sunday.

    NBC4's Kate Larsen contributed to this report.

    Get the latest from NBC4 anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android