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Searchers Find Missing SW Bend Man


A man who suffers from Alzheimer?s disease wandered away from his southwest Bend home Wednesday morning, prompting a widespread search that found him, about 2 hours later ? having walked about five miles from his home, into Deschutes River Woods, authorities said.

The man, in his mid-70s, was wearing a special ?Project Lifesaver? device, a wristband that emits a tracking signal and is designed to help find missing children, or adults with Alzheimer?s disease.

Its range is typically only about a mile ? usually good enough to make a difference, but not for a man who?s still able to travel so far, about two miles by straight line but an estimated five miles of travel on the ground, said Lt. Scott Shelton, Deschutes County Sheriff?s Search and Rescue coordinator.

Family members reported the man missing from his Brookswood subdivision home around 8 a.m., having already searched the area before calling police, who began searching the neighborhood and area roads.

The man is a client of the sheriff?s office program, Shelton said, and volunteers and deputies trained in Project Lifesaver were called in to help in the search, along with Shelton and eight volunteers.

A community member reported finding the man around 9:30 a.m., having walked up his driveway and telling the resident he was lost, Shelton said.

The man was brought by to his home and reunited with family members, ?in good condition and happy to be home,? Shelton said, adding that the quick work of area residents and the agencies involved were key in successfully resolving the search.

The Project Lifesaver program helps provide rapid response to save lives and reduce the potential for serious injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer?s, autism, Down syndrome, dementia and other cognitive conditions, he said.

The personalized wristbands emit a tracking signal that trained personnel can use to help find the missing person.

Information and applications for the Project Lifesaver program can be obtained at or by contacting the Special Services Division at (541) 388-6501.

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