NC Officers Use Drone to Locate Missing Elderly Man

Firefighter helmet

News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.


Jan. 28—Officers used a drone to locate a 78-year-old Stony Point man who went missing Wednesday afternoon.

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. Family members told officers the man left the residence on an ATV at around 4:30 p.m. and had not returned home, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Due to temperatures in the 30s and the rain at the time, as well as the missing person’s age and medical problems, a search effort was coordinated by local first responders. The first responders began a search of a nearly 100-acre property, the release stated.

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 the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office was also on standby for the search.

The search effort began by utilizing the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office’s recently purchased drone. The drone has thermal-imaging capabilities.

Shortly before 10 p.m., 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 man and began providing first aid. The man was transported to a waiting ambulance, and was taken to Iredell Memorial Hospital.


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