A Texas man went missing after going to a doctor’s appointment — and a farmhand found his vehicle abandoned miles from where he was expected to be, according to officials.
The Bowie County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the man’s family in October, after he never returned home from the doctor’s office, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said in a Nov. 14 news release. He had been missing for 24 hours by that point and temperatures had fallen into the 30s, meaning investigators “expected the worst,” the release said.
As the search was underway, a call came in to TPWD game wardens from a farmhand at an area ranch who found a vehicle stuck in mud and abandoned, according to officials. The vehicle was confirmed to be the missing man’s, investigators said, adding that it was 16 miles “off course” from his destination.
Officials quickly shifted their focus to the 3,000-acre farm, bringing dogs, drones, ATVs and a helicopter to assist in the effort, the release said.
While crews scoured ground on ATVs, the helicopter scouted ahead and eventually spotted a “figure” on one of the farm trails running between a river and the fields, according to officials.
The farmhand and game wardens rode to the location and, as they approached, saw a man lying motionless on the ground.
“At first (they) believed they were too late,” officials said. “But as they bent down to take a pulse the individual moved.”
The group warmed the man with their jackets and performed first aid, according to the release. He regained his senses, started drinking water and talking — and the team took him to a nearby road where the helicopter was waiting to fly him to a hospital, officials said.
“Despite missing in freezing temperatures for 48 hours, he is expected to make a full recovery,” officials said.
“Texas Game Wardens are extremely grateful to the three men who reported the vehicle and volunteered with the search and care of the missing individual.”