Mike Ciranni is relived his mother is safe at home.
The Long Island man is demanding answers after 90-year-old Marie Ciranni, who had been in a rehabilitation center, was found Thursday night around 11 pm in a deserted parking lot of the Sunrise Mall.
“My phone rang and the woman said, ‘Is this Mike? I have your mother in my car,'” he explained. “I thought it was a scam at first and then I knew it wasn’t because I heard my mother in the background.”
Ciranni was shocked and confused because his mother had been under the care of the Massapequa Center Rehabilitation and Nursing in Amityville after she broke her shoulder.
The woman who called him up, Janine Morgan, had stopped to use an ATM when she was started to find the 90-year-old woman.
“I was startled at first,” Morgan said. “She actually came up from behind and knocked on my window and asked me to drive her home.”
Morgan said she had no idea where she came from, but saw that she was not wearing a coat and seemed confused. She asked Ciranni if there was anyone she could call.
“Thankfully, she was able to recall his number and so we got Michael on the phone and that was actually how we were able to bring her home,” Morgan said.
Ciranni said his mother was able to walk past the nurses station and the front door security unnoticed. He estimates she walked more than half a mile away to the mall, likely crossing busy Sunrise Highway. He also claims the rehabilitation center did not know his mother had gone missing until they called.
“My wife called Massapequa Rehabilitation, they weren’t even aware she was gone,” Ciranni said.
NBC New York made multiple attempts to reach the rehabilitation center for comment but they never returned our calls or emails.
The Ciranni family refuses to send her back. For now, Marie will stay home and they will need round-the-clock care.
“I don’t want anyone going through this,” said Ciranni. “To get a call in the middle of the night that your mother just crossed the highway when she’s supposed to be under lockdown. I hope they are investigated I really do, it is so scary.”
Police confirmed the family filed a police report, and said the facility signaled it would launch an internal investigation.