NEWS

Roger Curry: American Pensioner With Dementia ‘Dumped In Britain By Wife And Son’

Roger Curry was taken from his home in LA and abandoned in Hereford.

30/01/2017 11:50 | Updated 31 January 2017

An American pensioner with dementia was flown to Britain and deliberately left in a car park by his wife and son, according to US court documents.

It is alleged that Roger Curry was abandoned in the car park of Hereford bus station on 7 November 2015 after travelling from his home in California with his family.

Legal documents seen by the BBC’s Panorama programme and filed in Los Angeles state: “In late 2015 Mr Curry was taken surreptitiously to England by his wife Mary Curry and his son Kevin Curry and abandoned there.”

West Mercia Police
Roger Curry was found at a Hereford bus station in 2015

The 76-year-old, who did not know his name or where he was, was found in the company of two men who had flagged down a passing ambulance.

One of the men – described as having an American accent, but younger than Curry – allegedly vanished from the scene.

Curry was taken into the care of a local nursing home while police and social services spent months trying to find out who he was.

The breakthrough came when BBC Midlands news put out a fresh appeal, with a woman called Debbie Cocker posting a photo of a man called Earl Roger Curry from a 1958 US high school yearbook.

West Mercia Police
Curry was transported from his home in LA to Britain, where he was abandoned by his wife and son, according to legal documents seen by Panorama 

The 18-year-old in the picture looked like Curry and was enough for BBC Panorama reporter Darragh MacIntyre to fly to the United States and trace Curry’s family.

In a Los Angeles suburb, MacIntyre found neighbours who confirmed Curry’s identity – describing the former nurse as a “wonderful, kind family man.”

After learning of Curry’s volatile relationship with his son Kevin, MacIntyre mused: “It emerged that Kevin was a complicated character. A restraining order was taken against him 17 years ago by his father. Did Kevin abandon his father in Britain?

“It’s not unheard of in the States. They call it ‘granny dumping’ – abandoning your elderly relatives to avoid the costly medical bills.”  

Curry was finally flown back to America eight months later and is currently in the care of authorities in Los Angeles.

At the time of his discovery, police appealed for help to identify the “vulnerable” man.

West Mercia police said they also wanted to trace a man, described as being in his 40s, who was seen to be walking with Curry towards Hereford county Hospital on the day he was discovered.

As part of the investigation, a 50-year-old man from Taunton in Somerset was arrested on suspicion of kidnap and bailed. He has not been charged.

Kevin Curry, who was interviewed by Panorama, said he had nothing to do with the abandonment of his father.

Panorama – The Mystery of the Unknown Man - will air at 8.30pm on BBC 1 on Monday.

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