For the second time in a week the Albemarle Sheriff's Office SAR Team has been requested to search for a missing hiker. Earlier in the week an 85 yr. old Key West community resident was located after he had been missing for over three hours in extreme temperatures. The gentleman had a cell phone, however he became lost in an area where there was no cell phone service. After many attempts, Chief Deputy Bobby Shiflett was eventually able to reach him by cell phone. The gentleman was hysterical on the phone, but Shiflett was able to calm him down. Shiflett was then able to determine the general area of where the missing man was by getting a description of the terrain. Once located, the elderly man was immediately given IVs and treated for dehydration by Charlottesville/Albemarle Rescue personnel.
Sunday morning at 2am the Sheriff's SAR was again activated at the request of the Albemarle Police Department. SAR staged a command center (using their new command trailer for the first time) in White Hall. They began looking for a black male in his seventies who had left his daughter's residence on Hydraulic Road on Saturday at noon to go for a walk. His daughter called the Albemarle police around 5pm Saturday to report she was concerned that he had not returned home. Shortly after 10pm a woman called 911 and reported seeing a man that met the same description that the daughter had given of her father. The caller stated she had seen a man who appeared to be "confused" in the woods on a trail above the Ragged Mountain Reservoir near White Hall. She reported that she had asked him if he needed assistance or a ride, but he had declined. This was approximately 14 miles from the Hydraulic residence.
The Albemarle Police Department responded to the area and searched for a few hours. They then requested the assistance of the Albemarle Sheriff's SAR. Albemarle SAR did limited searching from roads until daylight. At that time, Reserve Deputy David King entered the search with his helicopter along with approximately 30 Sheriff's reserves and SAR volunteers. At 6:30am, Chief Deputy Bobby Shiflett located the gentleman. He was located in the woods, approximately a mile from the closest paved road. The man said he had been lost and had been walking in the woods the entire night. He had even walked in a river for some time and had fallen on rocks and was bruised. After being checked out, he was given a ride back to his daughter's home by Sheriff Harding. Harding suggested he get a cell phone and let family members know where he planned to hike in the future.
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