On January 28, 2016, Cpt. Freer received a phone call from the caregiver who stating that her son was missing. He is enrolled in Project Lifesaver because he has a brain injury that causes many issues to include wandering. At the time of the phone call, the caregiver stated that they put him to bed at midnight. When she awoke at approx. 6:45am, she noticed her son was missing and the bed did not appear to have been slept in. This helped indicate that the client wandered off just after midnight. He was only wearing a pair of very light pajamas and slippers. The caregiver also indicated that they had traveled outside our jurisdiction to a neighboring county. The terrain was a muddy, heavily wooded, swampy area, and heavy rain was falling, and it was approximately 40 degrees out.
The caregiver stated that she had already called Marion County 911. Cpt. Freer then sent two certified Project Lifesaver officers Of. Helfinstine and Cpl. Todd to assist with locating the client. Upon arrival, they could not get a signal from the bracelet. After eleven hours of searching, that included many volunteers, 4-wheelers, several search dogs they were able to get a possible track. Unfortunately, after about a mile the dog team lost the scent. They decided to go in another direction. At that point, Cpl. Todd obtained one single faint tone, from the bracelet, so he continued in the same direction as the original scent. After another mile, he started picking up a stronger faint signal. The Project Lifesaver receiver then guided him into the client. The client was found 2.5 miles away from where the dog team stopped and went a different direction. As the bird flies, he was a little over 4 miles away from where he went missing, fortunately, he was alive, very wet and cold. The client was transported to the local hospital to be checked out, and appeared to be okay. Great work by all in locating the client and helping in bringing loved ones home!