(DENVER) — A Colorado man who vanished at a Denver Broncos game, then turned up more than 100 miles away five days later, told police he “had his fill of football and decided to go for a walk,” according to a police statement.
Paul Kitterman, 53, was “medically sound” when they found him in a K-Mart parking lot Tuesday, the Pueblo, Colorado Police Department said.
“He wanted to walk ‘somewhere warmer,'” the Pueblo police statement read. “Kitterman mentioned sleeping in treed areas and in bushes during his journey to Pueblo and even mentioned disposing of his Broncos hat as he did not want to be recognized.”
Kitterman’s friend Tia Bakke and stepson Jarod Tonneson, who both attended the Thursday game with him, told ABC News that his disappearance remains a mystery to them.
“Right now we are still unsure what happened to Paul. We know he is very tired. We are not certain of what has happened but we know Paul had some sort of breakdown. We are moving forward and taking all of the appropriate steps to help Paul,” Bakke and Tonneson said in a statement.
Pueblo police had a department chaplain find him a room once they identified him because he said he was tired and they called relatives to pick him up.
“He was speaking and answering questions intelligibly that were asked of him,” the statement read.
Kitterman’s relatives earlier thanked the public for its help but did not explain his disappearance.
“The family is happy to report Paul has been found and they are now with him and he is safe,” relatives wrote in a statement posted on a Facebook page dedicated to Kitterman’s case.
“We know there are many questions that some of you may have but for the time being we are asking that you respect [their] privacy as they have been through a lot,” the family statement read. “We love all of you and we will never forget your kindness, compassion, and your willingness to help us find Paul.”
Denver Police said Kitterman, a construction worker from Kremmling, Colorado, was found in Pueblo, Colorado, on Tuesday. He was unharmed and “no foul play was suspected,” police said, revealing few other details and deferring questions to Kitterman’s family.
Kitterman’s friend Tia Bakke, who was at the game on Thursday, said that he did not have his cellphone or any credit cards with him at the time he disappeared, bringing only about $50 cash to the game.
Before he was found, Kitterman was last seen at the game on Thursday around halftime when he told his stepson that he was going to meet Bakke and another friend who were sitting in a different section.
Bakke said that he appeared to be in a good mood when while at Sports Authority Stadium, and he said that it was “awesome” to experience his first Broncos game in person.
“He would never bail on his son or anyone, so by Friday night we knew something was really, really, wrong,” Bakke told ABC News.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Eugene Scott, CNN
Ariane de Vogue, Mary Kay Mallonee and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Debra Goldschmidt, CNN
Jennifer Graham, Deseret News