A Newtown man who was reported missing two weeks ago was found in Knoxville, TN on Monday and taken to a local hospital for an evaluation, police said.
Newtown police tracked down William Fitzgibbons to the University of Tennessee where the Knoxville campus police found his Jeep Grand Cherokee and then later located Fitzgibbons at a nearby Starbucks, officials said.
Fitzgibbons' family was notified and family members in Tennessee met up with university police who reunited them with Fitzgibbons.
The 56-year-old Newtown man, , appeared unharmed but was taken for a medical evaluation, police said.
"The family is working together to resolve the matter," according to a press release Newtown police issued late Monday. "No criminal charges were present and the case is considered closed."
Fitzgibbons attended graduate school at the University of Tennessee.
Earlier in the day, officials said a parking ticket led police to an out-of-state hotel where a clerk identified a missing Newtown man as having been a guest at the establishment for four days, Newtown police said Monday.
Up until Monday, Fitzgibbons was considered missing although authorities now know he appeared to have left the area willingly and made his way to the Midwest shortly afterward, said Police Chief Michael Kehoe, who declined to identify the area where Fitzgibbons’ Jeep was located.
“It seems to be that he was there of his own free will,” Kehoe said of Fitzgibbons. “We don’t know why he’s doing what he’s doing.”
Police, working in conjunction with police in the other jurisdiction, were working over the weekend to make contact with Fitzgibbons to verify his health and safety, Kehoe said, adding authorities have a “hypothesis” on why Fitzgibbons may have been there, although he declined to identify what that hypothesis was.
“We need to talk to him,” Kehoe said. “At least we have a sighting.”
Fitzgibbons, who operates a home-based consulting firm bearing his name and whom police said also worked as a day trader, after he failed to return from running an errand. He was last seen buying cream for his elbow at the Big Y supermarket on Queen Street in Newtown.
Fitzgibbons, who had left his cell phone at home, reportedly called his wife from the service phone to tell her he was running late due to car problems, saying the Jeep was making a “funny noise,” his wife said.
Police aren’t sure exactly where he went from the Big Y, but last week, police hundreds of miles away discovered that a Jeep that had been issued a parking ticket was registered to Fitzgibbons and Newtown police were looking for him, Kehoe said.
Based on where the parking ticket was issued, police in that jurisdiction went to a nearby hotel where they talked to a clerk who identified Fitzgibbons as a guest who had stayed there for four days before leaving, Kehoe said. A check of the room revealed no items that were left behind from the stay, police said.
Fitzgibbons had used his own name to register for a room at the hotel, but likely paid for it using cash because police had been monitoring his financial transactions and had not seen the activity, Kehoe said.
Newtown police received news of the sighting on Friday and had hoped to make contact with Fitzgibbons sometime during the weekend – which did not happen until he was found in Knoxville late Monday.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to say that William Fitzgibbons has been located and is no longer considered a missing person.