Missing camper found

Thursday, October 28, 2010

All ends well for a missing camper that wandered off from Roaring River State Park in Cassville on Saturday evening.

According to Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly, the family of George Macias, 73, of Kansas City, reported he disappeared from the camping area after telling them that he was going to take a shower at the campground's facilities.

"He actually wandered off twice," Epperly said. "The first time, he was found within about an hour or so.

"But the next morning, the man's wife, Suzanne, reported that he had been missing since 9 p.m. the evening before," said Epperly, "and we entered him into the system as an endangered adult."

Officials with the sheriff's department and Roaring River State Park searched for Macias, who had driven away in the family truck.

"We notified law enforcement in Benton and Carroll counties in Arkansas," Epperly said. "They are relatively close to the park, and we thought he might have gone that direction.

"We also had law enforcement in Kansas City check (the Macias) residence to see if he had returned home," Epperly continued. "But he hadn't."

Officials and volunteers searched the area for several hours before being notified that Macias had been found north of Little Rock, Ark.

"Apparently he had been sitting on the tailgate of his truck in someone's driveway, and they shot his tire because it was a suspicious vehicle," Epperly said. "Law enforcement officials apprehended Macias and took him to a detention center to hold him until his family could arrive."

Epperly said that Macias suffers from elder dementia.

"He just became disoriented and wandered off," Epperly said. "The bad thing about it is that men don't typically ask for directions or help. He just kept wandering."

Family members traveled to Little Rock, Ark., today to take Macias home.

"Once Arkansas police found him in the driveway and ran a background check on him and the vehicle, they were aware that he was an endangered adult," Epperly said. "His wife was very pleased to have her husband returned safely and with the response of local law enforcement officials who searched through the night to find her husband."

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