APD officer tries to reunite homeless man with family

Posted at: 04/15/2014 11:03 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It was a routine call that put an APD officer in the right place at the right time.

He came face-to-face with a man who was trying to find his family.

But fate has a way of complicating things, and now that officer is asking for the public's help.

On Saturday evening a call came in to APD dispatch. There was a homeless man wandering through traffic, and drivers were worried he would be hit.

When APD Officer Jim Edison started talking to the man he realized nothing is what it seems.

"He told me he was from Ohio. I was born in Ohio, so I know the distance, I've been there. He wouldn't tell me why he was here or how he ended up being homeless," Edison said.

It was clear 27-year-old Brandon Walch didn't have much experience living on the streets. He was shivering and was badly sunburned. Edison couldn't just leave him.

Then Brandon said something this seasoned officer will never forget.

"Can you help me get home?"

"To say to me, can you help me get home? Honestly that's the first time I ever heard that," Edison said.

So Edison called Brandon's parents in Ohio, and it turns out someone else has wanted Brandon to come home for a long time. His dad, Jim Walch, said about a year and a half ago, his often quiet and misunderstood prodigal son had just left.

They don't know how he got to Albuquerque.

Officer Edison took Brandon to the homeless shelter Joy Junction.

Brandon's parents raced to Albuquerque, but Joy Junction wasn't expecting them.

Because of shelter privacy policies they weren't let in. When it was sorted out, it was too late. Brandon was gone.

"I think he just needs to be reunited. That's what he wants. He's kinda just lost right now," Edison said.

Officer Edison said he's on the lookout, but he and the Walch family ask that you be too. If you see Brandon, please call 242-COPS to help him find his family.