Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Ex-big-leaguer found safe in La.

• His family is relieved. They hadn’t heard from him since last week.

DAVID L. TEIBEL Citizen Staff Writer

Mark Carreon, a former major-league baseball player missing here since Thanksgiving Day, has been found in Louisiana and is all right, Tucson police said yesterday.

Fearing he could be in trouble, police had been trying to locate Carreon, who lives in Tucson, since the weekend.

”I’m shocked why it ever happened,” Carreon’s mother, Dolores Carreon, said after talking to him yesterday.

”I’m happy he’s well, but there is more to this than we know,” she said.

It was learned Carreon was safe after he called his financial adviser yesterday afternoon to see why his ATM card account had been frozen, police said.

After his family reported him missing Saturday to police, his ATM card still was being used, making family members fear for his well-being.

Attempts were made to use the card in New Orleans, even after it was frozen, family members said yesterday.

Tucson police Detective Sgt. Ronald Thompson said he believes Carreon was not coerced into making the call and the missing person case is being discontinued.

Carreon’s mother, Delores Carreon, said when her son called his adviser, the adviser set up a three-way phone conference with her, the adviser and Carreon.

Carreon, according to his mother, said only, ”I’m OK. I’m in Louisiana. I’ll call you tomorrow (today).”

Mark Carreon’s family earlier yesterday pleaded for word about him, and prayed he was safe.

”If there is somebody out there that has seen my son, please call. We’re brokenhearted,” Dolores Carreon had said.

She and Mark’s two sisters, Camille and Christina Carreon, and brother Michael Carreon gathered yesterday at the Southwest Side home of another brother, Manny Carreon, to talk of Mark’s disappearance.

Mark Carreon, 36, a Salpointe Catholic High School graduate, is a former outfielder for the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants. He played ball the last two seasons in Japan for the Chiba Lotte Marines, his mother said.

Family members said Mark was being divorced by his wife of 15 years, Donna Carreon.

Michael said Mark left the Tucson apartment they share on Nov. 20 to try to see Mark’s sons, ages 13, 9 and 4, and his estranged wife in McComb, Miss., about an hour from Baton Rouge, La.

”He was upset because Donna had a restraining order against him” that prohibited him from visiting his children or calling them or his estranged wife on the telephone, Michael Carreon said.

Mark also was going to go to New Orleans to get a lawyer to help him visit his family and represent him in divorce proceedings, his mother said.

Mark hoped to reconcile with his wife, Michael Carreon said, adding, ”He really loved her.”

After leaving Tucson, Mark called daily on his cellular telephone until Nov. 24, family members said.

On the 24th he called his sister Camille, Dolores said, adding she called him later that day.

”He felt he wasn’t getting anywhere in Tucson with his divorce problems, so he was going to get a lawyer in New Orleans,” Dolores said, recalling the conversation.

That is the last time anyone in the family heard from him until yesterday afternoon.

Mark’s brother Manny Carreon had reported him missing to Tucson police Saturday.

Manny Carreon said Mark had not returned messages left on his cell phone.

The family was able to last place him at a hotel in Baton Rouge from which he checked out at 9:15 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, Manny Carreon said.

Over the weekend thousands of dollars were withdrawn from his financial account in at least eight transactions, each at a different ATM machine in New Orleans, he said.

By Monday, when businesses reopened after the weekend, Manny said, Mark’s financial adviser was able to put a stop order on Mark’s ATM card.

”We think there might be some foul play going on,” Michael said, noting anyone could get a personal identification number ”at the point of a gun” to activate the ATM card.

Dolores Carreon said her son had never disappeared before and this was uncharacteristic of him. She added she does not think he has been using the ATM card.

Mark frequently uses cash to pay his way when he travels, his mother said.


VAL CAÑEZ/Tucson Citizen

Dolores Carreon, Mark Carreon’s mother, and his brother, Michael, before he was found yesterday.

Family photo

Carreon played outfield for the Giants and the Mets.

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