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Outagamie County authorities use drone to rescue lost man with dementia

Posted at 12:09 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-09 09:20:23-04

A drone helped authorities find a missing man in Outagamie County. The county sheriff's office credits the use of the drone with likely saving the man's life.

Thursday night at about 7:30 p.m., deputies and first responders were called to a home on Old Highway 54 Road in the town of Bovina for a report of a missing 83-year-old man who suffers from dementia. The sheriff's office said the man had walked away from his home and had been missing for more than eight hours.

While officers and first responders searched the area on foot, the sheriff's office said deputies deployed a drone equipped with a thermal camera. This drone allows deputies to search a wide area quickly and view heat sources.

After an hour of searching with the drone, the sheriff's office said deputies found the man lying in a remote area about 400 yards from his house. Without the use of the drone, the sheriff's office said it is highly unlikely the man would have been found before nightfall and most likely saved his life.

The Outagamie County Sheriff's Office released video of the drone showing authorities finding and helping the man.

"We have spoken with the family of the man and they have agreed to the release of this video. Specifically, the family noted how grateful they were this equipment was available," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

The man was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Deputies were assisted on the scene by Shiocton Fire and EMS.