Hunter with Alzheimers found after overnight search in mountains near Kremmling
The search for an elderly hunter suffering from Alzheimers disease had a happy ending last week.Lamar Collie, 77, of San Antonio, Texas, was found alive and unharmed after spending a night in the mountains near Gore Canyon in western Grand County. He walked out on his own despite an overnight search to find him.The search for Collie began Thursday night about 7 p.m. when Sgt. Dan Zacek Smith responded to a residence on County Road 1 on the report of a lost hunter. Upon arrival, he met with Dave Hargadine, the owner and operator of a local hunting guide service, and Bruce Collie, the 43-year-old son of Lamar.The two men told Sgt. Zacek Smith they had driven out to the area of San Toy Mountain with Lamar who suffers from the beginning stages of Alzheimers disease. They left him in the vehicle and told him to wait for them until they returned from hunting at nightfall.Upon returning to the vehicle around 5:30 p.m., the two men discovered that Lamar had disappeared. They searched the immediate area for about an hour before calling 911. Although the weather has been relatively mild for this time of year, concerns were raised because Lamar was not dressed for cold overnight conditions. He was wearing only a plaid shirt, an orange vest, blue jeans and an orange cap. He also took no food or water with him, but did take a rifle.Assessing the situation, Sgt. Zacek Smith decided to call for assistance from Grand County Search and Rescue (GCS&R). Team leader Dave Darrington, six search and rescue members and two search dogs responded.The search teams entered the field about 8:30 p.m. Thursday. They searched all night, exiting the mountains about 5 a.m. Friday. Lt. Jim Campbell, who had relieved Zacek Smith, took the exhausted search and rescue team members into Kremmling for breakfast before continuing their search. Meanwhile, Hargadine and Bruce Collie decided to return to the area where they had parked the previous day. A short time after they arrived, they spotted Lamar Collie coming out of the woods. They brought him back to Hargadines residence on County Road 1 where they called the sheriffs office.When found, Lamar Collie reportedly said he was cold and a little disoriented, but otherwise fine. A Grand County EMS ambulance took him to Kremmling Memorial Hospital for an evaluation Friday morning. He was released later that day.
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