Police want anyone who may have seen Toronto firefighter on his journey across U.S. to come forward
Danny Filippidis went missing in New York and ended up in California 6 days later
Police are asking anyone who may have come across a Toronto fire captain, who went missing in New York and was found in California six days later, to come forward and help fill in the details about his trip.
"If we could have somebody call that we can prove actually met Danny on his journey across the country that would be tremendous help to us," Maj. John Tibbitts of the New York State Police said at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.
American authorities suspect he may have received a head injury at some point during his journey across the country.
Sgt. Shaun Hampton with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said Constantinos (Danny) Filippidis was showing signs of serious memory loss when he called police from the city airport on Tuesday morning identifying himself as someone missing from New York.
Missing man's route a mystery
The route Filippidis, 49, took to get there from the ski slope in Lake Placid, N.Y., where he went missing six days earlier, however, remains a mystery.
Hampton said Filippidis told police he got a ride to downtown Sacramento in a big rig, but did not remember details of the vehicle or the circumstances leading to his departure.
He also said Filippidis told police he recalled getting a haircut and buying an iPhone before calling authorities, but could not remember details of how he got to the Sacramento airport.
Hampton said Filippidis showed no signs of impairment, is not facing any charges, and has now been released from a local hospital.
Frank Ramagnano, president of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association, told CBC News on Tuesday that he understood there was "some indication" that Filippidis had travelled in "some form of truck."
"His car is in New York state. His car was there, his keys are there," Ramagnano explained. "I'm told that he had the same clothes [on] that he was skiing with on Wednesday ... full jacket, pants — apparently helmet and goggles as well."
At the news conference on Wednesday, Tibbitts would not comment on the reports of a truck transporting the missing man to California.
"He's telling us that he really doesn't have a clear picture of what's happened in the last six days. I've got no reason to disbelieve him at this time," he said, adding that Filippidis was en route to the Lake Placid region at that moment, and that he would be sitting down with New York State police at some point on Wednesday.
Tibbitts said police would be asking permission from Filippidis to gain access to his medical records from the hospital in Sacramento.
Over 6,000 people helped in search
Capt. John Streiff, of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers, told media on Wednesday that conditions during the search on Whiteface Mountain were "cold, frigid, rugged mountain territory."
He said in total, over 6,000 people, "that's all searchers and everyone involved," had helped in the search effort for the last six days.
"Other than a few lower leg injuries and small bruises we came off very safely for such an arduous operation," he said. "Co-operation, cohesion and the team work — from search management perspective it went very, very well. We actually looked back on it as a great training opportunity."
According to Ramagnano, about 100 Toronto firefighters travelled to the area to help with the search, and an equal number of their colleagues agreed to backfill their shifts.
"We use the word 'brother' and 'sister' in the fire department, and to me things are just words until you actually partake in the action, and that's what you saw here," he said.
Tibbitts said that Filippidis told his wife and a friend that he was "surprised and overwhelmed with the efforts that were made" to find him.
With files from The Canadian Press.