LOS ANGELES – A teenage Special Olympics athlete vanished from Los Angeles International Airport early Monday, just hours after another missing competitor turned up safe 350 miles away in Northern California.
Shion Isimel, 15, of the Ivory Coast, was last seen at 6:30 a.m. Monday at a Delta Air Lines ticket counter, airport police spokesman Rob Pedregon said. A security camera photo showed the French-speaking teen, who competed in table tennis, wearing a black shirt with the words "Special Olympics."
Earlier, an Albanian athlete who disappeared from the Special Olympics in Los Angeles turned up safe in a community on the east side of San Francisco Bay.
Andi Gusmari, 44, came to the Hayward Police Department on his own around 2 a.m. Monday and used a lobby phone to contact a dispatcher, acting Lt. Guy Jakub said.
Gusmari, who had identification with him, was safe and comfortable, but police were not able to communicate very well with him because of his speech disability, Jakub said.
Gusmari, a bowling competitor, disappeared from the University of Southern California sometime after 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
He apparently took a bus to Northern California, said Jeff Carr, chief operating officer of the Special Olympics World Games Organizing Committee.
"We are delighted that Andi is safe," Carr said in a statement.
The athlete's family members were notified, and he spoke to them, said Rich Perelman, a spokesman for the LA 2015 games.
A Special Olympics staff member was sent to help Gusmari get back to Los Angeles and then to Albania.
Some 6,500 athletes from around the world took part in the Special Olympics, which used venues around the Los Angeles area.
The participants said goodbye Sunday in an emotional closing ceremony at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the centerpiece of the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.