WILMINGTON, N.Y. (AP) — A Toronto firefighter who was the subject of a massive six-day search involving eight government agencies at an Adirondack ski center in New York has been located safe and sound — in Sacramento.
Authorities launched a search for 49-year-old skier Constantinos "Danny" Filippidis on Whiteface Mountain last Wednesday afternoon after his companions reported him missing. State police said Tuesday the search was called off when Filippidis contacted local authorities in Sacramento.
Officials say more than 140 people spent a combined 7,000 hours searching the rugged mountain terrain, calling in helicopters and search dogs to assist. Frank Ramagnano of the Toronto Professional Firefighters' Association said Filippidis was "confused" and unable to give direct answers. He was hospitalized.
Filippidis was part of a group of Toronto firefighters making their annual ski trip to Whiteface. Police say the circumstances of the case are under investigation.
A Sacramento officer told the Post-Standard of Syracuse that Filippidis thought he'd suffered a head injury, rode in a truck and slept a lot. He got a haircut and bought an iPhone to call his wife.
Sgt. Shaun Hampton of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, said Filippidis told police he was dropped off in downtown Sacramento, but could not give a description of the truck or driver.
“He was unable to provide a lot of details,” Hampton said.
The man called 911 from the Sacramento International Airport rental car terminal around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, to alert police that he was safe after being told to do so by his wife whom he spoke with by phone earlier that morning. Employees at the rental car terminal confirmed a man being taken away in an ambulance on Tuesday.
“It was hard to believe at first,” Hampton said.
When police arrived Filippidis, was wearing the same clothes he has been seen in when he went missing — ski boots, powder pants, a heavy jacket and was holding his ski helmet with $1,000 in cash, a credit card, and a newly purchased iPhone.
New York troopers wouldn't comment Wednesday.