Missing elderly man beats all odds in Jones County - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Missing elderly man beats all odds in Jones County

Photo credit: Jones County Fire Council Photo credit: Jones County Fire Council
JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

A 78-year-old man was found alive after having been missing for over 30 hours in Jones County.

According to a news release from the Jones County Fire Council, around 10:30 p.m. on Monday, the Jones County Volunteer Search and Rescue team was dispatched to an area near Tiger Creek Baptist Church in Ovett.

Units were advised to meetup at the church and were then brought to the staging area by ATV's due to the rural nature of the location. Several volunteer firefighters from Calhoun, Powers, Ovett, Glade, South Jones and Sharon responded to the search and rescue request, according to the release.

After arriving on scene, volunteers were placed into groups and given specific areas to search around the last known location of the missing man.

After initial search teams turned up nothing, search K9s from Jones County Sheriff's Department and Powers Volunteer Fire Department Chief Joey Davis were brought in to assist.

Eventually, it was deemed that the search dogs were not able to locate the man at that time and were taken off the search.

At that point, Search and Rescue Coordinator, Lee Garick of Calhoun, requested mutual aid from surrounding counties and various agencies to broaden the range of the search, according to the release.

Perry, Forrest and Wayne counties then responded with  more man power, off road vehicles, and a cadaver dog in the event the man had not survived. 

Several times during the evening, personnel stated noticing a foul smell coming from an unknown location.

Eventually the smell led workers to a creek and using equipment from fire trucks, they began searching the water for a body, but turned up nothing.

As the hours stretched on, the smell began to dissipate; it was concluded that the smell may have been originating from a sewer runoff.

At one point during the evening, search and rescue personnel came upon a hunter that stated one of his hunting dogs had been sitting in a single location for an hour and hadn't moved or come out of the woods; the dog was equipped with a GPS tracking chip.

Eventually, the dog did leave the area but rescue personnel were able to pinpoint its location on a  map and searched that area, initially not turning up any leads.

The location of the hunting dog was about 2,000 yards Northeast of the staging area.

After almost 12 hours of search and rescue operations, aid from multiple assisting agencies and the persistent will from our volunteer search and rescue team, the man was found alive, beating all odds, according to the news release.

At around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, personnel from the Mississippi Forestry Commission found the man at a game warden shack near where the hunting dog had been sitting.

At the conclusion of the search, the elderly man sat in a search and rescue truck, ate breakfast and drank plenty of water as he waited for an ambulance to arrive.

Due to the man having multiple known health conditions, and having been missing for over 30 hours, EMServ medics were called to the scene to assess and transport the man to South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel.

Rescue personnel on scene included Calhoun, Powers, Ovett, Glade, South Jones and Sharon Volunteer Fire Departments, Jones County Sheriff's Department, Jones County Emergency Operations Center, Jones County Search and Rescue Coordinator, EMServ Ambulance Service, Forrest County Sheriff's Department, Forrest County Fire Service, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency area coordinator, Wayne County Fire Service, Perry County Sheriff's Department, Perry County Fire Service, Mississippi Forestry Commission, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and Jones County Chief of Operations.

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