BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Multiple law enforcement agencies and volunteers spent hundreds of hours over the last five days searching for a missing 81-year-old man, and on Wednesday afternoon, he was found alive just 400 yards from his home in Baton Rouge.
Hammond resident Earl Dunn had last been seen at his George Road residence around 11 a.m. on Friday.
When an elderly person goes missing for that many days, law enforcement members and volunteers often do not expect the search to end well, according to a press release from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office.
But this expansive search was different.
“Since his reported disappearance, dozens of personnel, first responders, and volunteers invested hundreds of man-hours in the search and rescue operations by use of helicopter, drone, ATVs, search and rescue dogs, horses, boats, and by foot,” the press release reads.
TPSO’s uniform patrol and reserve deputies, detectives and mounted team unsuccessfully searched for Dunn until Wednesday morning. Nearby fire departments searched for Dunn in neighborhoods, wooded areas and waterways. The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office air support even conducted aerial searches of the area, according to TPSO.
Louisiana Search and Rescue tracking dogs spent the last two days searching for Dunn, but a search volunteer and his canine ended up finding Dunn.
Around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, West Monroe volunteer Zach Stephens, his canine Ruby and Lt. Jacob Schwebel found Dunn in a heavily wooded area around 400 yards from Dunn’s house.
They found Dunn lying on his back in several inches of water. Dunn was not only alive, but was coherent, according to TPSO.
“This search was truly an all-hands-on deck effort,” TPSO Chief James “Jimmy” Travis said. “The cooperation of the workers, volunteers, and family members resulted in a life being saved. You can’t ask for anything better.”