Jerry , Marvin , Al and Stan ,

Just wanted to tell you a tracking success story that happened this morning.

I took the call for an 82 year old Alzheimer's patient that had been missing for one half an hour (he had walked off before so they knew to call right away).  A somewhat rural area just East of a Interstate highway near Loveland .  A deputy was on the scene with another deputy and they did a quick search of the areas he had been known to go to.  After that they did a great job of securing the area to preserve the scene.  One of the deputies has a daughter on the SAR team, Jamie Baker, and has shown interest in taking a tracking class.  That made a tremendous difference in the out come.

I had to start up the search and was taking a ton of phone calls but really wanted to start working the sign!  Mark Sheets decided that since it was an Alzheimer's case, he would take off work to help out so I could work some sign (I Thanked him!). 

When he arrived I turned things over to him and started working the last known tracks.  They went across a dirt field then down a dirt road heading North that the son and deputies drove down so most of his tracks were erased "but not all".  I was able to find a track every 50 feet or so giving us a direction of travel.  The road leads to some ponds that everyone said was his favorite place to go.

The tracks went "past" the road leading down to the ponds and continued North.  That was a blessing because they were starting to wonder if he fell in the ponds.  One of the deputies said,  "that blew my theory".  Everyone was focused on the ponds and the drainage around them.  I just kept looking for the story told by the tracks and blocked out everything else.  Up the road another 100 yards the road ended and I found one more set of prints leading through a gate and into a grass field.  By then, some more SAR members were arriving and I wanted Scott Evans to help me track through the grass field and he was in route to my location.  While standing there I looked across the field to see if I could see some shine from tracks and I noticed something by a fence across the field to the North West .  I wanted someone to go check it out since it was next to the frontage road and at that point no one had been in the grass field and I didn't want to leave prime and contaminate the field.  A deputy was in route.  An Emergency Service person was with me by then and had some binoculars and said, "it's him!".  We took off running towards him yelling his name hoping like hell he was still alive and finally he moved.    Apparently he was trying to cross an electric fence and fell.  It was approximately 1/2 mile from the house.  He must have just laid there after that because everyone who came on scene drove right by him but would really have to look to see him laying there.  I for one was guilty of not looking very hard because I was still trying to figure out where if I was heading to the right address or not!

Due to Patient Confidentiality, I'll just say, "he seemed in good shape" when the ambulance picked him up.

It may sound like I'm bragging a little on the tracking assignment.... well.... I am :-)  I've worked very hard on getting to the point I am and I'm glad to see it paying off.  I have you guys to thank for this story.  Thank you for spending the time you do with me and everyone learning the art of tracking.  His family thanks you too.

The whole search lasted less then an hour from receiving the first page, driving to the scene (8 miles away from where I was working) and standing down the SAR Team because we located him.

Dave