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1 of 2 Missing Mental Health Patients Found

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — One of two mental patients for whom Los Angeles police were searching was in custody Saturday morning, while the search continued for the other man.

The two men had been reported missing on Thursday evening from Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles, according to a news release issued by the Los Angeles Police Department on Friday.

The facility, at 1891 Effie St., had issued an “apprehend and transport” request to detectives, asking authorities to take the patients into custody and return them to the hospital.

Sgt. Richard Gonzales of the LAPD Rampart Division said that James Sheppard, 50, had been taken into custody and was at a hospital, but did not have details about Sheppard.

Police were still searching for Christopher Bednar, 45, Gonzales said. Bednar was described as just under 6-feet tall, weighing about 280 pounds, and having brown hair and blue eyes.

The two men were free to leave the Gateways campus but were in need of medication, authorities had said. They had prior convictions but were on “some kind of conditional release,” Gonzales said.

A woman answering the phone at the mental health facility Saturday said because of privacy concerns, she could not provide any information about the patients.

Anyone with any information about the case was asked to LAPD Rampart Division detectives at 213-484-3440 or 213-484-3400.

In February, a mental health patient who had been convicted of threatening to kill Madonna was found after he left a facility in Long Beach.

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