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Sheriff's department searching for man reported missing

Merced County Sheriff's Department is asking for help in locating a missing person.

The Sheriff's Department received a call at 12:20 a.m. that Lionel John Ward, reported missing from his home in Richmond, was spotted at Alfarata and Highway 99.

Ward, 57, is diagnosed with the beginning stages of dementia along with other medical problems. Ward was taken to Mercy Medical Center Merced for treatment before he was to be released to Adult Protective Services.

Ward left the hospital while being treated. He was last seen at 3 a.m. at the hospital at 13th and B streets in Merced. Ward is described as a black male, 5-foot-eight, 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He has a tattoo of the letter “J” on his right arm and the letter “L” on his left. He has two tattoos on his legs that say “SWIFT” and “DC”.

Information about Ward may be given to the Merced County Sheriff's Department by calling (209) 385-7445.