Missing Special Olympics athlete found in Haleiwa

Latsamy Douang Phouxai
Latsamy Douang Phouxai
Phet Douang Phouxai
Phet Douang Phouxai

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WHITMORE VILLAGE (KHNL) - The story of a Special Olympics athlete, who disappeared from his Whitmore Village home over the weekend, ended on a happy note Tuesday.

Latsamy Douang Phouxai is all smiles, back in his mother's arms. For three days, the mentally-challenged 31-year-old roamed the streets of Oahu.

"You tired?" asked KHNL.

"Yes," he replied while smiling.

Douang Phouxai is a long-time Special Olympics athlete, who's on daily medication for epilepsy. He vanished from his Whitmore Village home Saturday morning.

"This is first time. That's why I worry," Phet Douang Phouxai, his mother, said. "He never run away and he never get lost before. I kind of worry and can not sleep, yeah."

At about 8:30 am Tuesday, police spot the missing man at a bus stop in Haleiwa. For mother and son, it's an emotional reunion.

"As soon as the police officer opened the door and he cry, cry, and I give him a hug," his mother said. "And the first question I ask my son is, 'You okay? Did somebody hurt you?' He said, 'No.' That make me happy."

Latsamy says he caught the bus to different areas, and was hungry and scared by the time he was located.

"How did you feel when the police found you?" this reporter asked.

"Felt good," he replied.

His mother says she's grateful for the community's help.

"Thank you everybody, you know, to help me," she said. "And they all very nice and wonderful people."

After taking some time off, Latsamy is looking forward to once again participating in Special Olympics. His mother says track and field is his favorite sport.