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AA DFW Layover Mystery A Homicide  
User currently offlineAJMIA From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 731 posts, RR: 15
Posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6471 times:

Texas Officials Say Layover Mystery a Homicide

Mon Nov 17, 8:35 pm ETDALLAS – A mysterious disappearance of an Alzheimer's patient during a layover at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport seven years ago became a homicide case Monday after an examination of skeletal remains found miles from the airfield.

The Tarrant County medical examiner used DNA tests to identify the remains as 70-year-old Marjorie Dabney and ruled that her death was caused by a blow to the head, police said.

The remains were found last year near Lewisville Lake, about 15 miles north of the airport. Last month, Dabney's clothing and business cards were found near the lake.

"I'm still shocked," Dabney's daughter, Candice Price, 38, of Indianapolis, told The Associated Press on Monday.

She said that in the years after her mother went missing, she convinced herself that someone had found her mother and was caring for her. Her mother was diabetic and an Alzheimer's patient.

"To get this, that somebody hit her upside the head — you can't prepare yourself for this," Price said. "I'm furious because I'm hearing that someone has killed my mother. I want to know why. I want to know when."

Authorities could not determine when Dabney died or if she was killed at the location where the remains were found, Linda Anderson, a spokeswoman for medical examiner, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Dabney disappeared Dec. 5, 2001, while traveling with her husband from Indianapolis to Bakersfield, Calif., where they were to move into a new home. During the layover, an airline escort accompanied Dabney's wheelchair-bound husband to the restroom and asked Dabney to meet them at the gate. She never showed up and couldn't be located.

Her mysterious disappearance drew national attention when trial lawyer Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. joined the family in the search. Cochran was one of the attorneys who represented O.J. Simpson during his 1995 murder trial in Los Angeles.

In 2003, Dabney's husband, who had filed a $10 million lawsuit against American Airlines, agreed to an undisclosed settlement.

Price said that her father was in shock after learning of the developments in her mother's death. "He's in disbelief," she said.


It blows my mind that something like this could happen in a huge airport like DFW.

I am not really sure why AA is on the hook for this if they were providing wheel chair assistance for the husband and not the wife, but I guess there is a lot of information on this that the general public is not privy to.

AJMIA


Lady it's a jet... not a kite.
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6312 times:

Very sad, but as someone who has had a parent develop an illness very similar to Alzheimer's (Lewy Body Disease - the same one that took the life of Estelle Getty), it only takes a moment of confusion for someone like this to become totally disoriented and hopelessly lost, unable to even fathom how to ask for help.

When I took my dad from San Diego to Minnesota just before he died, he trusted me in that I had made all the preparations and knew what to expect. He was functional, but still I didn't let him out of my sight for one second - I would have lost him completely. He could never have made it with just an airline employee there to help him - only family members can do this kind of job.

I would never trust the airline to "get" an elderly and/or disabled relative to their destination unaccompanied. Unless that person is travelling with someone familiar to them, all it takes is one split second and tragedy occurs.

One a side note, AA no longer flew DFW-BFL in 2001 - how were they getting to Bakersfield? Being picked up in L.A.?



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6204 times:



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 1):
One a side note, AA no longer flew DFW-BFL in 2001 - how were they getting to Bakersfield? Being picked up in L.A.?

Maybe DFW-FAT, and driving from there? Was AA flying that route then?


User currently offlineThestooges From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6083 times:

The fact that one of the couple was in a wheelchair and the other had Alzheimers really should have meant that a family member should have travelled with them, like the above posts have already mentioned. If those had been my parents and they were in that condition I would never have let them travel alone from Indianapolis to California, having to change planes in such a busy airport as DFW. I think its unfair to place that kind of a responsibility on an airline and it's employees and then turn around and sue that airline when something goes wrong. But I guess American did assume some responsibility for losing the woman if they agreed to a settlement.

User currently offlineRJNUT From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1217 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6034 times:

I'd try to find the guy who wheeled the husband around and told the woman to continue on to the gate! HHMMMM! You'd think they would all stay together! My 2cents

User currently offlineSmcmac32msn From United States of America, joined May 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6007 times:



Quoting Thestooges (Reply 3):
I think its unfair to place that kind of a responsibility on an airline and it's employees and then turn around and sue that airline when something goes wrong. But I guess American did assume some responsibility for losing the woman if they agreed to a settlement.

I think if they were informed that the husband was wheelchair-bound, they should have been informed the wife (may she rest in peace) has alzheimers. She shouldn't have been left alone and by the sounds of it, told "just meet us at the gate". Both should have been escorted the entire time.



Hey Obama, keep the change! I want my dollar back.
User currently offlineAJMIA From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 731 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5909 times:



Quoting RJNUT (Reply 4):
I'd try to find the guy who wheeled the husband around and told the woman to continue on to the gate! HHMMMM! You'd think they would all stay together! My 2cents

You can't really stay together with the wife in the men's room.

I doubt the wheel chair guy was fully informed of the situation. They usually just receive an assignment to pick up at flight A and drop off at flight B.

I am wondering if this family contacted an AA Special Assistance Coordinator? If they had I imagine that the family would have been advised to travel with the passengers.

Two years ago I flew on a flight with two very disoriented elderly passengers. They had been refused transportation the day before and their family had called AA and pitched a fit until AA HDQ agreed contact the originating station (STX) and authorize them to accept the passengers. On the MIA-BDL connection flight the old man wet and soiled his pants several times and wandered aimlessly about the cabin. It was a full time job for the flight attendants keeping him in place and the smell was just awful.

AJMIA



Lady it's a jet... not a kite.
User currently offlineFLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1184 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5877 times:

The husband was present when the attendant asked his sick wife to meet them at the gate, knowing fully of her condition. Yet, he blames the airline (sued them for 10 million and settled out of court). I don't think we know the entire story, and we never will ...
FLY2LIM



Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
User currently offlineTan Flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1904 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5620 times:



Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 2):
Maybe DFW-FAT, and driving from there? Was AA flying that route then?

Yes they were.. also the remote possibility of a DFW-LAX-BFL routing, via eagle from LAX.

Bakersfield is about eqidistant from LAX or FAT, althought I can assure you the travel time on Fwy 99 will be a lot faster than getting out of LAX, onto the 5 and over the grapevine. From FAT to about anywhere in metro Bakersfield would be 2 to 2.25 hrs, max.


User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5793 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5491 times:

My understanding is that there were to be 2 attendants, one for the husband and one for the wife. The husband had recently had hip surgery, which was the reason for the wheelchair.

Per the lawsuit coverage the wife's attendant went to the wrong arrival gate forcing the husband's attendant to try to manage both.

AA says that the attendant either did not realize he was responsible for both or did not realize the wife had Alzheimers.

And they were connecting at DFW for a LAX flight and then on to Bakersfield.

[Edited 2008-11-18 13:34:55]


"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5468 times:



Quote:
Yes they were.. also the remote possibility of a DFW-LAX-BFL routing, via eagle from LAX.

Nope, Eagle had pulled out by then as well.

Quote:
Bakersfield is about eqidistant from LAX or FAT, althought I can assure you the travel time on Fwy 99 will be a lot faster than getting out of LAX, onto the 5 and over the grapevine. From FAT to about anywhere in metro Bakersfield would be 2 to 2.25 hrs, max.

Under ideal driving conditions, LAX and FAT are virtually the same driving time. The chances of "ideal driving conditions", however, is a crap shoot in L.A. I have driven from San Diego to Bakersfield in three hours, going through all of L.A. I have also had the same trip take 5+ hours to complete.

The 405 is a fickle creature - sometimes the Goddess Of Traffic that everyone in southern California prays to blesses the travellers, other times she stops them and does not permit them to move.

My guess is that the couple were flying to LAX, as most Bakersfieldians consider that their most cost-effective and easiest-direct-access airport. Burbank is also gaining in popularity, but LAX attracts the most Bakersfield-bound passengers.



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2169 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4194 times:

Wow...I remember seeing this on the news in December 2001 and over the years off and on I have thought, huh, wonder if that mystery was ever solved...now that i do know i can't help but think how sad.

i personally blame the airline for assuming that the woman, with those kinds of health conditions, could make it on her own to the gate. then again, that is also a huge burden to place on somebody.



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User currently offlineOzark1 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 437 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3802 times:

Here's the problem that i think developed. The flight attendant escorted them both off the plane, pushed the gentleman up the jetway in the wheelchair because, as usual, the contract service employee that was supposed to be there with the chair ----wasn't. He pushed him up and had her with them as well. The flight attendant spoke to the agent and the agent called for contract services personnel. They came and the man in the chair had to go to the restroom so he took him and I am not sure what was said to Mrs. Dabney by either the agent, the flight attendant, or the contract person. Truly a mysterious situation, but I do not think the AA personnel were completely aware of the severity of her Alzheimer's. Plus, he was traveling with her, so I think they assumed that he knew what to do and what to tell them to tell her to do. Once the company handed them over the contract carrier for wheelchair and general assistance, then i think that's when it went downhill. They are usually kids trying to make some extra bucks,not sure how competent I would say they were.

User currently offlineJohnClipper From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2005, 837 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3756 times:

I'm sorry to hear of the loss, but my sentiments are the same as some of the previous posters. If the couple were both "of escort need", they should have been travelling with family and not dumped on AA to take care of. One "in need" is ok, but two "special needs" is pushing what you expect an airline to handle. It's like parents dumping kids off at school and expecting the teachers to be "the parents" for 8 hours. AA is an airline, not a nursing home.

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