Family from Kansas City finds missing son in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- Two worried parents flew all the way from Kansas City to San Francisco to search for their missing son on the streets of the Tenderloin neighborhood. Dorrell King's mother and father hiked up and down city streets on Sunday.

"We came all this way to let him know we miss him and we want him to be safe," King's mother, Crystal King, said.

Dorrell King, 43, is homeless and struggles with addiction, his parent's told Nexstar's KRON. He was first reported missing in November of 2023. Police advised his parents that their son might be found between O'Farrell and Turk streets, where people often hang out using drugs.

Crystal and Dorzell King flew from Kansas City to San Francisco to find their missing son. (Photo: KRON).

"As a father, it hurts, and it's a very painful thing to know he has sunken to this level," the father, Dorzell King, said.

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A local nonprofit, Urban Alchemy, helped search for Dorrell. Al Ibarra of Urban Alchemy said sometimes he works with unhoused people for months, and then suddenly, stops hearing from them.

"Sometimes it is bad news, sometimes it is good news -- but most of the time ... bad news. It's very unfortunate. All these people, they come from families, and something in their life happened that made them homeless," Ibarra said.

Crystal and Dorzell King tape fliers with photos of their son around San Francisco on July 7, 2024. (Photo: KRON)

Dorrell's parents did not give up on finding their son in a city that's more than 1,500 miles away from home.

JJ Smith, an anti-drug advocate who helps homeless people around the Tenderloin connect with services, watched KRON's news story. Early Monday morning, Smith spotted Dorrell in the Mission District and helped reunite him with his parents.

Smith told KRON that the time between watching the news and seeing Dorrell "happened so quick I couldn’t believe it myself."

At first, Dorrell hesitated to talk to Smith when Smith called out his name. "I already had his parents on the phone, so when I walked up to him I just handed him the phone. (He was) very shocked his family was on the phone," Smith said.

Dorrell's parents said they will encourage their son to return home to Kansas and get clean.

Smith said he believes in giving people who are struggling a chance to get their life back on track. He told KRON, "There are a lot of people that are on the streets that are struggling and some of them are here because they’re afraid to go home. If your family is looking for you, then there is someone who cares for you, and they can help."

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