TEMPE, Ariz. (KTVK) - Gerald Goins, 84, has been calling a studio-sized motel room in Arizona "home" for several months. Even though it's small, he said it was enough room for him and his son Andy.
But last week, his son up and left the Western Lodge Motel in Tempe.
"I went to the doctor’s office. After an hour, two hours, I got a ride to come here, and he was gone,” said Goins.
Goins said the only thing his son left behind in the motel room was a handwritten note with instructions on how to take care of himself.
“He came into my office just looking bewildered, handed me this note and this EBT card, and he didn’t understand what was going on,” said April Alt, the motel's manager.
Alt said she has never seen anything like this happen to one of her guests.
“The son was his primary caregiver, took him to all his medical appointments, did all of his food, money, everything. And then, on the 8th of September, he left him at the doctor's office. And when Gerald came out of the doctor, his son was gone,” said Alt.
Goins, a retired truck driver who has a heart condition and needs help walking around, said it was his son’s idea to come to Arizona, but that he has been paying for everything through his retirement -- which he doesn’t know how to access.
“Being cooped up like this is hard for me,” said Goins.
Gerald is now weeks behind in payment. Alt said she is doing what she can to try to get him home to his family in Zanesville, Ohio.
“It is just so sad, it really is,” said Alt.
In the meantime, Tempe police said they are aware of what happened to Goins, but their hands are tied because he’s not in immediate danger.
Alt said she also reached out to Adult Protective Services.
“In the note, his son gave instructions on where food is at and how long to cook it in the microwave,” said Alt.
Goins still has his EBT card and has been surviving on whatever food he can purchase at the gas station next door to the motel.