Man with mental illness missing since discharged from hospital found

UPDATE: Berkeley police said that Brian Lawrence was found on Thursday. 


An El Sobrante family is searching for a 56-year-old loved one whom they say has the mental capacity of a 5-year-old. 

Family members say Brian Lawrence was released from the hospital on Monday, given a bus ticket and hasn't been seen since.

His family, armed with flyers, searched the streets of Berkeley on Wednesday.

One stop was at a homeless encampment.

Relatives say Lawrence vanished after being discharged from Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley Monday around 8 p.m. 

They say he suffers from schizophrenia and dementia. 

 "Down to my very pit, I'm concerned. I'm worried. I know how he functions," said Sequora Brown, the missing man's cousin. .

 Family members say Lawrence is paranoid, often imagining that people are following him.

One relative, Deborah Brown, says she drove him to the emergency room at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Monday afternoon.

She says his ankles were swollen and he had complained of pain in his neck.

Brown says she wasn't allowed into the hospital when he checked in because of COVID restrictions.

She says she called Alta Bates repeatedly to ask when he would be discharged, but found he'd been sent home before she could pick him up.

Brown says she went home and repeatedly called Alta Bates to ask when he would be discharged so she could pick him up.

 "How can you see him the way he was and release him? I don't understand," asked cousin Deborah Brown.   

 Relatives said they've been searching in various places including bus stops and Bart stations  since Monday and reported him missing to Berkeley police.

Investigators say they are treating this as an at-risk missing person's case.

One family member says the hospital told him Lawrence was given a bus pass along with a route on how to go to his home in El Sobrante.

 "He is not capable, transferring buses, even getting on a bus and going the right direction," says Arrion Brown, a cousin.   

 A spokesperson from the hospital issued a written statement: "Out of respect for patient privacy, and in compliance with state and federal laws, we are unable to comment."

  "I'm worried that he could be beat up. I'm worried that, he just got through having blood clots taken out from his last surgery. I'm worried that he could be passed," says Arrion Brown.  

 Family members say Lawrence doesn't know how to use a cell phone.

They describe him as having curly hair standing six feet tall and weighing 180 pounds.

He was last seen wearing a light brown jacket and gray sweat pants.

They say he walks with a shuffle.

Relatives say he's not violence but that it's best not to approach him but to contact police.