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WKBW 7 News Buffalo

North Buffalo veteran still missing SUV lost in the December blizzard

By Michael Schwartz,


On the first night of last month's blizzard, Friday, December 23rd, Bret Mandell said he was headed to a friend's home around 5 p.m. when his SUV became stuck on NY-198. The intense winds, and blinding snow forced him to abandon the vehicle and walk home, but now one month later it remains missing.

"I went to the preposition parking lots that they had for all the different vehicles, every single one," explained Mandell. "Checked city registry, county registry, and it was on none of them.

Mandell, a veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2004, said he looked on nearby side streets, impound lots, but there has been no sign of his 2010 black Nissan Murano.

"I'ts a huge inconvenience," said Mandell. He has been relying on friends, family, coworkers and even Ubers to get to and from work and school at the University at Buffalo

Mandell said he got stuck on NY-198 near Buffalo State. Mandell said he called the City of Buffalo, and was told he should call the county. The county told him to call the state.

"I've gotten zero answers," emphasized Mandell, who then decided to contact 7 News. "A friend mentioned to call the news, they actually have results."

On Thursday 7 Problem Solver Michael Schwartz contacted Erie County and the City of Buffalo. A county spokesperson said the Erie County Department of Public Works has no more unclaimed vehicles from the blizzard, and no record of Mandell's Nissan.

The City of Buffalo says its parking commissioner’s office has no report of towing that vehicle from the 198, and City of Buffalo Parking Enforcement officers have been given a description of the vehicle to look out for.

Mandell also said he reported the vehicle stolen to Buffalo Police, and an investigator recently called him about it to learn more.

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