NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — At the Bryant family home, the Christmas place settings are on the dining room table. Stockings are hanging on the wall. But even with the holiday décor, there’s a tremendous void.
“It’s been really challenging, for my family and myself. Not knowing where he is, if he’s hurt, you know, if he’s okay,” said Pamela Bourgeois.
Bourgeois is talking about her 88-year-old father, Gilbert Bryant. Bryant was last seen on surveillance video, leaving his home on Bundy Street in New Orleans East on December 10. Bryant’s family and friends haven’t seen or heard from him since.
“He suffers with dementia as well as congestive heart failure and he has not had his medication,” said Bourgeois.
Bryant’s family says he’s an extremely active and faithful man who often walks to church — he doesn’t drive. Despite his dementia, Bryant’s family says he memorized their cell phone numbers and has never walked away before and not come home.
“Even though, you know, he has some illness, he still is able to get around. So we’re just hoping for a Christmas miracle,” said Janice Herron, Bryant’s stepdaughter.
While Christmas is in just a few days, there’s another important day for the Bryant family that’s even closer.
“His birthday is upcoming this Friday. He’ll be turning 89,” said Bourgeois.
Bryant’s children say he is a wonderful father, who’s involved heavily in his church and community. Now, Bryant’s family is bracing for the possibility that he won’t be home for his birthday and Christmas, but they refuse to give up hope.
“I’m not going down without a fight — with letting go of the hope that he’s still out there and that we just have to bring him home,” said Bourgeois.
His family says the last person Gilbert talked to was a neighbor, and he told that neighbor he was walking to Wilson Street, but hasn’t been seen since. Gilbert was last seen wearing a plaid shirt and khaki pants. His daughter’s say they are going to hold a birthday celebration for their dad at his house this Friday, and they hope he’ll be home to celebrate with them.
Bryant is listed as a missing person with the New Orleans Police Department. If you’ve seen him or know where he is, call police.