Jewish Journal

[UPDATE] Melvin Gelfand, missing person, found dead

Los Angeles Police Department

Posted on Oct. 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Melvin Gelfand

Melvin Gelfand

UPDATE: Melvin Gelfand’s body was found on Oct. 1, along with his car, at the bottom of a remote ravine 50 miles north of Los Angeles, according to an interview with Gelfand’s son-in-law, Will Matlack.  The body was found only because of a strange coincidence, Matlack said, whereby another car, that of 67-year-old David Lavau, drove off the road in exactly the same spot. Lavau was found alive by his family, alongside the remains of Gelfand, who had driven off the road some days earlier and had been missing for two weeks. Gelfand, 88 and diabetic, was found some 70 miles from his supposed destination of a Hawthorne bus station, when he left his home on Sept. 14. Gelfand’s family said that he had never shown signs of dimentia, according to the Associated Press, but he had gotten lost on occasion. Lavau’s family had help locating him through his cell phone’s signals, the AP report said,  whereas Gelfand’s cell phone was turned off.

News Release

Melvin Gelfand, a diabetic, was originally thought to have boarded a bus at 120th Street and Crenshaw Boulevard bound for Valley View Casino in San Diego on September 14, 2011, but there are no records of him boarding the bus or using his player’s card at the casino so it is doubtful that he made it there.  He also suffers from high blood pressure.  The family believes that it is out of character for him to leave anywhere without notifying them and say he can barely walk a block without help.  They are very concerned for his safety.

Los Angeles:  The family of Melvin Gelfand and the Los Angeles Police Department are asking for the public’s help in finding Gelfand.

On September 14, 2011, at about 8 a.m., Gelfand was last seen at his residence in the 2900 block of Tilden Avenue, in the Westside of Los Angeles.  He has not been seen or heard from since and his family is extremely concerned for his welfare. Gelfand is diabetic and takes medication.

Gelfand was possibly driving a 2007 four door, gray Toyota Camry, Calif. License Number 5UPW238 or on a Luxury Line Bus headed toward Valley View Casino in Valley Center, Calif.

Gelfand is described as an 88-year-old male Caucasian with gray hair and brown eyes. He is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs approximately 146 pounds and has balding hair.  He was last seen wearing black pants, a beige plaid shirt, a black Members Only jacket and a beige hat.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Gelfand is asked to contact LAPD Missing Persons Unit Detective Carlton at 213-996-1800. During non business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.


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