Family Mourns Loss of Elderly Man in Upper Valley

POSTED: Monday, September 5, 2011 - 4:21pm

UPDATED: Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 11:29am

EL PASO – The family of Elizama Espinoza is thanking the community for their support and help.

Police found the 73-year-old's body Saturday evening behind a church in the 5700 block of Montoya, not far from his home.

Police issued a Silver Alert Friday after Espinoza didn't return home from an evening walk.

“He collected cans. He loved to do that because it kept him busy. That's what he went out to do on that day,” said Espinoza's son, Ralph.

When Espinoza didn't return home, his family called police and, with the help of neighbors, began a frantic search in the area. Sadly, the search didn't end the way they had hoped it would.

Espinoza suffered from dementia and had problems with his short term memory. While his family said he wasn't at the point where he needed to be placed in a nursing home, his son had some advice for other families who have a loved one suffering from dementia.

"Before it gets to that point I think that there are so many good facilities out there today they can figure out a place that fits the family's needs,” he said. “Whether it's a complete in-patient facility or daytime home care."

The medical examiner's office will determine how Espinoza died, but his son thinks it was probably from a stroke or a heart attack.

Funeral Arrangements for Elizama Espinoza: Viewing will be from 5-7pm on Thursday, September 8th at Calvary Chapel Sun City located at 960 W. Borderland. The funeral will begin immediately after the viewing.

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To my family - with deepest sympathy for my beloved Uncle Sam, he truly is resting in peace

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