We were called in by Duluth
PD Thursday morning to search for a missing Alzheimer's patient with diabetes who had been
missing for five days in the woods not too terribly far from where we trained with you
guys. Nobody expected him to be found alive. The pageout asked for Bones with
his bloodhound, as well as all the human trackers we could muster, to work a newly
discovered LKP based on his eyeglasses and cane found there. I was even able to
reach John McKinnon (the Superior PD guy) who helped out briefly before having to return
Anyway, we fielded two tracking/signcutting teams to work the PLS, and you know what?
We found the bugger, alive! Paula, myself, and Jim Herman (the man who popped
his head briefly into the classroom) located the man while signcutting a stream bed east
of the PLS. Jon Koop, Brian Saari, and Ozzie Oswald were signcutting another stream
bed west of the PLS, and came racing over to assist in the rescue. The man was
second-stage hypothermic and in very rough shape, but I believe he's going to make it.
We saved a life--he would not have survived another night in the woods.
Then, Duluth PD asked if we would "use our tracking expertise" to reconstruct
his route from the PLS to the site of the find, just to eliminate any suspicion of foul
play. The sign line was over four days old and highly contaminated by law
enforcement searchers from the previous night, but we did it! We located all items of
missing clothing (including his pants, both shoes, his underwear, and one missing
sock--the other was still on his foot), and were able to show where the man fell to his
knees and began to crawl, where he dropped to a belly crawl, and finally, his slide down
the bank to where we found him. Duluth PD was very impressed... I think we may get a
phone call in the future. Moreover, if there was ever an example illustrating the need to
have you guys come back to Duluth for another school, a lot of folks saw it on Thursday.
Anyway, the long and the short of it is that if we hadn't known how to cut sign, we
wouldn't have found him, and a good man would have died in the woods. You taught us,
and we are forever grateful to you. Thanks again!
"Your UTS Students in Duluth"
Rick Slatten, Paula Sluka, Jon Koop, Brian Saari, Ozzie Oswald, John McKinnon, Alex
Jackson, Mark McKeever, John Witte, and Robin McCauley