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Missing 81-year-old Newport News man found dead behind church

Posted at 8:57 PM, Jan 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-01 20:57:34-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. –  Gerald Hamilton Adams, an 81-year-old white male who suffered from a cognitive impairment, was found dead, reported News Channel 3.  Virginia State Police canceled the alert for Adams  just after 8:30 p.m. Monday, almost 24 hours since Adams was last seen.

Adams, who has a history of wandering away from the home, was last seen by his family at his home in the 700 block of James Drive around 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

Gerald Adams and wife. Photo from WTKR.

As officers raced to find Adams in dangerously freezing temperatures, police tracking K-9 were used.

The Newport News Police Department said Adams was found in the 6000 block of Roanoke Avenue and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities said a viewer who had seen reports of Adams’ disappearance on the news was driving in the area looking for Adams, finding him behind the church and notifying police. Adams’ wife told News 3 that police believe he froze to death.

Police said Adams wandered away from his home three times in the past week. Last time he was found at the Walmart in the area of Mercury Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue.