Suburban Pennsylvania Man Gets Lost on Trip to Store and Ends up in Alabama

An 89-year-old suburban Philadelphia man Jody Tarbutton accidentally goes on a 900-mile detour while going to the store. The man is now safely back with his family, due to police who noticed something wasn’t right.

According to Haleyville, Alabama Mayor Ken Sunseri, Tarbutton had approached the officers at a restaurant on Monday and asked them where he was. Sunseri said they told him he was in Haleyville, Alabama and that the answer “sort of stunned him.”

The officers then took him to the police station and ran his driver’s license. They then discovered that he had been missing for two days. They contacted authorities, got him medical attention and notified his family.

Daughters Response

His daughter Cindy Gatta said: “We never, never, never expected to hear the news that he was in Alabama. It’s just been amazing that it all turned out so well.” Gatta said he had never been diagnosed with dementia, and instead this must have been out of old age.

She flew down to Alabama and met him at a hospital, where he was treated from high blood pressure and dehydration. According to Sunseri, officials aren’t sure which route he must have taken in order to end up in Alabama, but they say either way he must have been driving through severe weather.

Police found a child-size drink and two hamburgers inside his pickup truck, leading them to believe that he must have stopped somewhere to get gas and something to eat.

Sunseri said he was “extremely proud” of the action the officers took and for the response of the wider community.

According to Sunseri, people in Haleyville helped Tarbutton’s children from the airport in Birmingham to the hospital and were working with the family to help ship Jody’s truck back to Philadelphia.

His family calls finding him nothing short of “a Christmas miracle.”



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