After mysteriously disappearing from a mountain in snowy New York, a 49-year-old skier was found six days later in sunny California.
After mysteriously disappearing from a mountain in snowy New York, a 49-year-old skier was found six days later in sunny California, still in his ski clothes and just as confused as authorities.
Constantinos "Danny" Filippidis, a firefighter from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, told authorities that he has no recollection of what happened after he was reported missing during an annual ski trip to Whiteface Mountain a week earlier on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The search for Filippidis came to an end when the missing skier turned up in Sacramento, California, a whopping 2,500 miles from the slopes of the Adirondacks.
“At this point, we want to assist Danny in getting back the last six days of his life,” said New York State Police Maj. John Tibbitts.
Filippidis was heading back to the Lake Placid, New York, area on Wednesday. Tibbitts said the firefighter had agreed to be interviewed by state police but that he’s not aware Filippidis broken any laws.
Frank Ramagnano, president of the Toronto Professional Firefighters’ Association, told reporters at a news conference Tuesday evening that Filippidis appeared to be “confused and was unable to give direct answers.”
“He had phoned (his wife) and called her by a nickname. She quickly recognized the voice and that it was him,” Ramagnano said. “Then they lost contact and he contacted her again and they kept him on the phone and asked him to call 911 to get him help as soon as possible.”
Filippidis told deputies he remembered little, but thought he’d suffered a head injury, rode in a “big rig-style truck” and slept “a lot,” Sgt. Shaun Hampton of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department told the Post-Standard of Syracuse.
Filippidis said he bought an iPhone to call his wife and told deputies that a truck dropped him off in downtown Sacramento, where he got a haircut, Hampton said.
Tibbitts said it was too early in the missing person investigation to comment on details provided from others. He also declined to estimate the cost of the six-day search, which involved a helicopter and up to 140 people a day, some combing the snow with hands.
Police distributed a picture of Filippidis taken in California on Tuesday, hoping people who recognize him can help solve the mystery.
“He wants to find out where he was as badly as we want to find out where he was,” Tibbitts said.