Persistent searchers — and new technology — helped find a missing elderly man on a cold, rainy night in Alexander County.
On Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at approximately 7:17 p.m., Alexander County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to a residence located off of Beam Lane in the Stony Point Community, in reference to a missing person. Arriving officers were met by family members who reported that a 78-year-old man left the residence, alone on a side-by-side ATV, at approximately 4:30 PM and he had not returned home, according to Sheriff Chris Bowman.
Due to temperatures in the 30’s and the rains at the time, as well as the missing person’s age and medical problems, a search effort was coordinated by local first responders to begin searching the nearly 100 acre property. Alexander County EMS, Alexander County Rescue Squad, Stony Point Fire Department, Alexander County Emergency Management, along with Alexander County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the search. A K-9 from Iredell County Sheriff’s Office was on standby for the search.
The search effort began by utilizing the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office recently purchased drone. This drone has thermal-imaging capabilities. At approximately 9:54 PM, the drone’s thermal imaging indicated a heat source down an embankment in a wooded area on the property. The Alexander County Rescue Squad ATV Team was dispatched to the area, where they rescued the elderly male and began providing first aid. The victim was transported to a waiting ambulance, where he was taken to Iredell Memorial Hospital.
Sheriff Bowman would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance: Alexander County EMS, Alexander County Rescue Squad, Stony Point Fire Department, Alexander County Emergency Management, and Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.