‘We were meant to be there’: Women on their way to work find man at center of Silver Alert

Posted at 3:31 PM, Sep 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-14 17:31:15-04

MILWAUKEE -- Two Milwaukee women were in the right place at the right time when they spotted who they thought was a missing man at the center of a Silver Alert. Their instincts and actions quite possibly saved his life.

For Nydia Diaz and Angela Fabila-Hintz, their morning routine will never seem quite so ordinary.

"It was like we were meant to be there," Fabila-Hintz told WITI.

Carpooling to work in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley, someone caught Diaz's attention. "We had seen a gentleman on the side of a 27th Street bridge," she said.

Diaz said she was almost sure he was the 82-year-old man reported missing on the news Tuesday, Sept. 10.

"Sure enough, red shirt, jeans, tan shoes," said Fabila-Hintz.

Diaz said she dropped Fabila-Hintz off at the office, located just a couple blocks away, and sprang into action.

Stanley Mastalish, who has dementia, had wandered from the Milwaukee VA Medical Center Tuesday afternoon, which prompted a statewide Silver Alert.

"The sweetest, kindest person I've encountered in a long time," Diaz said.

Diaz safely returned Mastalish to the VA Wednesday morning. His granddaughter, Amanda, said in a statement to WITI:

"We are so thankful for these two beautiful souls that found him. It's nice to know you can still count on good people nowadays. We are so happy he is found, and safe."

"In these moments, you have to hope that someone out there is watching and they're going to find your loved one," said Fabila-Hintz.

Now at Diaz's desk, a photo of Mastalish hangs -- reminding her that sometimes it's your ordinary routine that brings about the most unexpected, yet rewarding, moments.

"I am not a hero, God just put me there at the right time," said Diaz.

Mastalish's granddaughter said when he is up for it, they plan to take Diaz and Fabila-Hintz out to Ned's Pizza, which is his favorite.