How the Broome County Sheriff's Office Reunited a Man Missing for Two Years with Family
The work to find Earl Sutton's family began this summer, but Sheriff's Deputies, County Mental Health, and social services workers began looking out for him shortly after his arrival in Broome County.
When he arrived last fall, he had a traumatic brain injury. However, he turned down the help.
"He refused a lot of those services. So he didn't want to stay anywhere. He didn't want to go anywhere. He didn't want to even accept any benefits." Said Captain Ben Harting.
The man who made a bus stop shelter in the Town of Dickinson, didn't want to tell people where he came from. The sheriff's office said they complied resources and were able to find a list of phone numbers that could be associated with Sutton.
They were finally able to make contact with Sutton's cousin in Toledo Ohio, but they initially thought it was a scam. "We took a picture of Earl, provided it to her. She confirmed it was Earl. She was in contact with his uncle, James Sutton." Said Captain Harting.
When in contact with James Sutton, he revealed the family originally thought Earl had passed away, but once he saw the picture, it was a huge sigh of relief. Then James was finally able to speak to his nephew.
"I called out his name, I said Earl, this is your uncle. I said I love you, and he said I love you too 'Unc'. Then I called him by his nickname, I called him Goga. I said Goga, you want to come home? He said yes, and I said, well I'm coming to get you. I'll be there, I'm coming to get you." Said James Sutton.
James made the trip to Binghamton, to reconnect and bring Earl home. The family finally reunited after two years apart.