SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin joined police on Wednesday to ask for the public’s help to find Jean Chang Kan Fung, an at-risk 84-year-old woman who has been missing since Friday.
According to police, Fung was went missing after leaving her home in the city’s Richmond District for a walk around 3 p.m. Friday.
California Highway Patrol officers encountered Fung soon afterward in the Presidio and gave her ride to a Safeway grocery store at 15 Marina Blvd., Police Investigations Commander Raj Vaswani said.
“CHP initially saw her near the MacArthur Tunnel, they approached her and she did not appear to be disoriented and did not appear to have any medical issues,” he said.
Fung’s family reported her missing later that night. Officers are currently reviewing surveillance video from the area and are looking into the possibility that Fung may have traveled outside of the city, Vaswani said.
“We’re working closely with the family to try and hone in on any favorite places that she would be comfortable at,” he said.
Because Fung speaks Toisan and Cantonese, the CHP officer who gave Fung the initial ride prior to her being reported missing used a language app on their phone to communicate with her.
According to Boudin, Fung’s case highlights the need for more options for people who don’t speak English and need immediate help.
“It is imperative that every time someone calls 911, every time there is an emergency, they can get help just as quickly if they don’t speak English as if they do. Collectively, as a city we have a lot a work to do to ensure language access. This is not a problem that is limited to any one agency,” he said.
“Everywhere you go in San Francisco, we need to do better to provide full language access. It is a significant logistics challenge, it’s a staffing challenge, it’s a resources challenge.”
Boudin added, “We don’t know where the communication went wrong, but we know she didn’t get a ride home, we know she didn’t get a ride close to her home. It’s hard to say exactly where the communication breakdown was, but I think all of us feel that had there been more language access … perhaps this devastating situation could’ve been avoided.”
“Our entire family has been extremely worried since Friday,” Fung’s family said in a statement.
“Because of the language barrier, we believe she is out there feeling helpless and scared. Please help reunite us.”
Fung is described as being 5 feet tall and weighing 90 pounds with white hair. She was last seen wearing a red or pink puffy jacket, purple sweater, brown pants, black UGG boots and a red beanie with an LG logo.
Anyone who sees Fung should call 911. Anyone with further information about her disappearance is asked to contact San Francisco police at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and start the message with “SFPD.”