A Toronto firefighter who went missing on Feb. 7 during a New York ski trip with colleagues was discovered Tuesday when he called his wife from an airport in Sacramento, California, nearly 3,000 miles away.
Constantinos “Danny” Filippidis, 49, strayed away from his skiing buddies amid a snowstorm on Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, New York, Toronto News reported.
His wife reported him missing, which prompted a week-long search including 250 people, helicopters, drones, K-9’s units combing the Adirondacks.
Police said that roughly an inch of snow fell per hour during while Filippidis disappeared, which hampered search efforts, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported.
Missing Skiier: Attention skiers/snowboarders at Whiteface Mountain: If you were skiing the mountain Wednesday, February 7, and saw this man, Constantinos “Danny” Filippidis, between the hours of 2:30-4:30 p.m, please call @nyspolice at 518-873-2750. https://t.co/MFrsnAUA8v pic.twitter.com/zIihcxLxry
— NYSDEC (@NYSDEC) February 9, 2018
When Filippidis contacted his wife, she urged him to call 911, which prompted police to arrive.
When Filippidis spoke to authorities, he said that he couldn’t recall how he arrived at the airport but did remember riding in on a “big rig-style truck.” He was dressed in his ski gear.
Filippidis reportedly had a new haircut and cellphone and little recollection of the past week. He told police at the airport that he had traveled from Adirondacks to Sacramento.
Sgt. Shaun Hampton of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department didn’t believe Filippidis’ story until his name populated in a missing person’s report.
He told police that he had purchased a new cellphone and that a truck drove him to downtown Sacramento where he got a haircut, about 11 miles from the airport.
Police don’t believe that Filippidis’ was under the influence of narcotics. He was a “willing participant” of the trip, according to Toronto Professional Firefighters Association President Frank Ramagnano.
Deputies assumed that Filippidis had suffered an injury and as a precaution, transported him to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.
Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said members of Toronto Fire Services were pleased to know that Filippidis had returned safely.
“We are all very relieved to know that he is safe, following what has been an exhaustive search operation,” Pegg wrote, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.
The sheriff’s office was not investigating the incident.
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