Tucson family searches for missing loved one in Miami

Updated: Sep. 11, 2017 at 4:24 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As Irma continues to travel north along Florida's Gulf Coast, a family in Tucson is frantically trying to locate a love one whom they haven't heard from in days.

The Barcelo family contacted American Airlines about concerns that 73-year-old Jorge Alexander Barcelo Griffin might need an earlier flight to the Dominican Republic in order to avoid the storm.

The elderly man was booked on a Saturday flight, but his daughter-in-law Patty Barcelo said the airline suggested something sooner to avoid

She said family d ropped her father-in-law off at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix Thursday morning. They haven't heard from him since.

Barcelo Griffin traveled to southern Arizona months ago from the Dominican to spend time with his son, former MLB pitcher Lorenzo Barcelo. The 40-year-old athlete is recovering from surgery.

He said his father doesn't have a cell phone and he speaks limited English.

Monday morning family and friends gathered in the Barcelo home in Tucson to divide up agencies and make phone calls to find Barcelo Griffin.

Concerned about her father-in-law's safety since the start, Patty Barcelo said she reached out to the airline Thursday evening. She wanted to page him at the gate to coordinate a backup plan, but Barcelo said the representatives she dealt with would not page him. 

She later confirmed that Barcelo Griffin received a $12 dinner voucher, so she knows he arrived in Miami.

Barcelo said she found little to no help when she learned that the Miami International Airport was closing because of the storm.

The family is worried that their elderly loved one is in an unfamiliar city, with no place to go. If Barcelo Griffin wound up in a shelter, his family has not found him yet.

Barcelo said she tried to file a missing persons report with local law enforcement in Miami, but was told the agency is dealing with other emergencies.

She said Monday that the Red Cross could not help find Barcelo Griffin either. She said representatives on the phone asked her to remain patient and the online search tool hasn't helped her because it requires a phone number or address of the missing person. 

The Barcelo family plans to fly into Miami as soon as the airport opens. They hope to hear from Jorge Alexander Barcelo Griffin before then.

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