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Skier Lost in New York Has No Idea How He Ended Up in California

The man was reportedly still dressed in his ski clothes and had no idea what day it was. He also had a new phone and a fresh haircut.
Image via Sacramento Police Department

In a bizarre, mysterious turn of events, a Canadian firefighter who went missing during a New York ski trip last week was found wandering Sacramento, California, on Tuesday with no clear memory of how he got there, the Mercury News reports. He was even wearing the same ski gear he had disappeared in, with no idea what day it was.

Danny Filippidis was last seen February 7 at Whiteface Mountain in upstate New York, after leaving a group of work friends to go on one more ski run at the end of the day. When he never returned, his colleagues reported him missing, and law enforcement kicked off a massive manhunt in the Adirondacks. But the nearly 200-person search was unsuccessful, and no one found any trace of the man until nearly a week later when a disoriented Filippidis called his wife from Northern California—almost 3,000 miles from where he originally disappeared.


Recognizing his voice, Filippidis's wife told him to call 911. Authorities reportedly found him standing in a car rental lot near the Sacramento airport, "confused" and "unable to give direct answers," the Toronto Professional Firefighters' Association president, Frank Ramagnano, said during a press conference. In addition to sporting the same ski jacket and pants he wore on the slopes in New York, the Sacramento Bee reports, Filippidis also had a new phone, $1,000 cash, no ID, and a fresh haircut.

Filippidis said he couldn't remember the details of how he got across the country in six days, but told police he remembers riding in a "big rig–style truck" where he slept a lot, a spokesman for the Sacramento PD told the Post-Standard, though Filippidis was unable to recall specifics about the vehicle or its driver. He said he also may also have suffered a brain injury, and cops don't believe he was drugged or taken against his will.

"He was very nonchalant, and kind of out of it," Sergeant Shaun Hampton of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said after the discovery.

According to Filippidis, the truck dropped him in downtown Sacramento, where he bought a phone to call his wife and stopped somewhere for a haircut, for some reason. But he said he couldn't remember how he made it out to the airport, where local police eventually found him. Filippidis was then hospitalized in Sacramento before being sent back to New York, where state law enforcement are hoping to try to help him piece together the story of his journey.


New York police are currently searching for anyone who may have picked up a confused hitchhiker wearing full ski gear and drove him across the country, or anyone else who may have information regarding his disappearance—like, you know, someone who recently spotted mysterious glowing orbs beaming a human down onto the Sacramento streets or whatever.

"At this point, we want to assist Danny in getting back the last six days of his life," New York State Police major John Tibbitts told a press conference.

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