Missing father turns up 14,000km later in Auckland Airport

Morning Talk 13/02/2018
Photo: File.

When an Auckland-based woman was informed her estranged father had gone missing in the US, she imagined the worst.

Her father, who has early dementia, had been missing from his New York rest-home for two days.

Deborah Pead from Pead PR joined Mark Sainsbury on Morning Talk to tell her father’s story.

Ms Pead called the authorities in the United States but all she got was voicemail. She wrote in a Facebook post that she "imagined the worst and all remaining sleep dissolved into the humidity smothering the Auckland night."

"What to do? Do I jump on a flight? Do I sit tight and wait?" she wrote. 

But one phone call changed it all. To Ms Pead's surprise, Auckland International Airport ringed her to asked whether she knew a Derek John Pead.

Like an old dog, he found his way back.

Her father had flown from New York to New Zealand with nothing but his passport and wallet - and a book bought for the journey.

Mr Pead’s adventure began at his rest-home where he managed to get a flight to Los Angeles. After some confusion about where he needed to go, he managed to arrange a return ticket to New Zealand to see his family.

She wrote that her father didn’t tell anyone from the rest-home because ‘there are too many rules at that place.’ 

What made him hop on the plane? He was feeling sad and missed his daughter. 

Listen to the full story from Deborah Pead above.

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, weekdays from 9am-noon on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the ROVA app on Android and iPhone.