State police and K9 unit find missing elderly man in woods

1 min read

RUSSELL — Troopers from the State Police-Russell Barracks, along with the Massachusetts State Police K9 Unit, Special Emergency Response Team (SERT), and Air Wing, successfully located an 87-year-old man with dementia who had been missing for nearly eight hours in the woods on Wednesday.

The man, last seen shortly after noon near Blandford Road, was the subject of an intensive search by both Russell and State Police.

Officers were canvassing homes and businesses in the area for any sign of the missing elderly man.

During the search, the MSP K9 teams discovered footprints in the snow leading from a residential driveway down a steep embankment toward the woods.

Trooper Ken Hanchett and his K9 partner, Orry, picked up the man’s scent and followed it down the hill.

They crossed a flooded and icy patch of ground, ultimately reaching a large tree in a clearing where the missing man was found lying on the ground.

The discovery came as MSP Air 4, a helicopter from the Air Wing, detected a heat signature in the area where the K9 team was conducting its ground search.

Trooper Hanchett, along with K9 Trooper John Areche and SERT Trooper Timothy Fanion, provided the man with emergency first aid upon finding him at approximately 8 p.m., enduring the frigid temperatures of the day.

SERT Troopers carried the non-ambulatory man to an ambulance.

He was transported to a local hospital to receive treatment for injuries related to cold exposure.

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