'Guardian Angel' finds missing man in Wolfforth

'Guardian Angel' finds missing man in Wolfforth
Tandy Swartz
Tandy Swartz
Lowell Bonifield (Source: Facebook)
Lowell Bonifield (Source: Facebook)

WOLFFORTH, TX (KCBD) - A man reported missing shortly after noon on Friday has been found safe with the help of what some people are calling his guardian angel.

81-year-old Lowell Bonifield of Shallowater had been missing since Thursday.

When word got out about his disappearance, one woman took it upon herself to find him.

Tandy Swartz from Wolfforth and was headed home from work when she spotted a suspicious scene.

"I was at the overpass at Brownfield Hwy and 179 and I saw an elderly man standing under the overpass in the shade," she said. "He looked a little confused, but he looked like he was looking for something. I saw a pickup parked on the side of the road, so I didn't think anything else of it."

Although she drove past, she just could not get him out of her mind once she arrived home.

"It was like God was telling me 'Tandy, you need to go back'," she said "'you need to check on this man. Something is not right.'"

Her suspicions were confirmed when she saw an alert from the KCBD mobile app that said a Shallowater man was missing.

"All it said was that he was wearing black and white Nikes," Tandy said.

She was still unsure, and when the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office did not know any more details she got in her truck to begin searching.

"When I got up there, he was not under the overpass," she said. "He was sitting on the trash can at Valero. So I got out of the pickup and walked up to him and started visiting with him. He said his last name was Bonifield. I really started shaking then."

He told her he was going to Brownfield, and she offered to let him sit in her truck. Shortly after, she flagged down a Wolfforth police officer pulling into the Valero and informed the officer about the situation.

"I said 'Everything is going to be okay, they're going to take care of you'," Tandy said, "and he said, 'So somebody is looking for me?' and I said 'Yes sir, they are'. And I hugged him, and he looked at me and said 'You're my hero'."

Tandy encourages everyone to take an extra step when there is a missing person and to "always follow your instincts."

She said it is heartwarming to know that Lowell is now home safe with his family.

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