Missing elderly amputee from DeLand found safe

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Authorities say a missing Volusia County man has been found safe.

Ruben Melendez Diaz, 71, of DeLand, disappeared on Monday around 3:30 p.m.   Authorities believed he was taken when a van in which he was resting was stolen from the driveway of a residence on Laisy Drive.

Investigators later found Ruben Melendez-Diaz at a pizza restaurant in Daytona Beach just before 10 last night and say they found the van he disappeared in parked on the street nearby. 

Officers say Diaz recently had a leg amputated. Family members say he is incapable of driving the van by himself; however, a preliminary investigation by DeLand police officers found that Diaz left on his own accord and drove to Daytona Beach.  

According to a woman who identified herself as his daughter, she said she and her father drove to a relative’s home in Deland, he said he was tired when they arrived and asked her to go inside to get him some coffee.  The daughter told FOX 35 she came outside a few minutes later with coffee to find the van driving down the street.