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Fritz resided in Faemingdale, New York with his mother and her second husband. He had graduated high school in 1974, spending the last year being tutored at home due to his schizophrenia diagnosis. He attended college for only two months and never learned to job or held a job. Edward spent most of his time at home reading or watching television. He couldn't travel on his own and his mother usually took care of his transportation needs. At the time of his disappearance, Fritz saw a psychiatrist once a month and attended ten sessions a week at a day program at Sunrise Psychiatric Clinic in the 30 block of John Street in Amityville, New York.
Fritz attended the day program the day he disappeared and was last seen was last seen inside the facility at approximately 12:30 p.m. on January 29, 2002. He had $1.25 per lunch and a quarter to use the pay phone for emergencies. He normally received a van ride back to his home at the end of the day. At 3:45 p.m., the day program staff called his house and asked Fritz's mother if he was home. She said he was not, and they said they'd lost track of her son approximately three hours earlier.
Officials initially believed that Fritz walked away from the facility and returned home. He maintained constant contact with his relatives prior to his disappearance, but after he went missing they never heard from him again. He was declared legally dead in June 2007.