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CHICAGO (CBS) — He’d been missing for over a week.

Family told police he may be confused and in need of medical attention. But it was the attention one stranger paid to a man shivering in a breeze-way that may have saved his life. CBS 2’s Chris Tye with a story of thanks and giving this holiday week.

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“I think these things happen all the time and nobody knows.”

And who knows what would’ve happened if Lisa Kosowski’s evening dog walk didn’t happen November 8.

“My dog started pulling in that direction. So I looked and I saw an elderly man sitting in the doorway,” Kosowski said.

A doorway in Andersonville. The man was 5’2 and 90 pounds. A language barrier made any asking or offering of help tricky. She called a colleague who speaks Spanish.

“He had a look like he needed help but couldn’t ask for it. When they finished Danny texted me his name and then I Googled his name,” she said.

The name came back at Socorro Ruiz. It turns out he’s number four on the CPD Missing Person List and as it turns out, he made it on foot from his home 11 miles away in Little Village.

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“He had been missing since October 30, so it had been nine days. He had walked 11 miles and no one else had intervened up to that point. So I kinda feel like I was meant to be at that spot at that moment,” Kosowski said.

She called 911 for the man the police said may be confused and in need of medical attention and she called a friend.

“She sent her son over with a bottle of water and Gatorade. Just then, the police pulled up,” Kosowski said.

The police re-connected Mr. Ruiz with his family. And in this cycle of grim news, Lisa is re-connected with a deeper humanity.

“It was just a feeling. A feeling, so I stuck with it. Had I been late for a doctor’s appointment, I might not have noticed him either.”

But she did. With the help of her rescue pup Flicka and their nightly walk, it all came together.

“It’s like a chain, a good chain reaction. It’s a huge relief. I slept really well that night.”

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Mr. Ruiz’s family did not want to speak with CBS 2 for this story, but was happy to allow Lisa to share the details of what lead to his return home earlier this month.

Source: CBS Chicago

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