MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A 75-year-old man who was missing for nearly two days has been found alive in the Meeman-Shelby Forrest State Park.
There was a feeling of celebration at the command center at the Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park after more than 200 law enforcement officers searched for 36 hours, ending in the successful, safe discovery of 75-year-old Hugh Haraway.
“I’m so elated and so happy,” Charlotte Bergmann, friend of Hugh Haraway said. “We’ve been stressed out the past few days.”
Stress turned into relief as rescue crews, family and friends hugged, jumped and high fived each other in triumph after 75-year-old Hugh Haraway was found safe. Haraway became lost in the state park while birdwatching Saturday evening.
“To find out that he’s alive, that’s the best feeling,” Bergmann said. “I just praise God for that. Hugh is alive!!”
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says Haraway was found about a mile and a half away from the command center at the bottom of a 40-foot ravine he had fallen into while walking.
“He thought it would be best just to stay in the position there and let us come to him,” John Morris, Shelby County Sheriff’s Spokesman, said.
More than 200 law enforcement officers and volunteers searched non-stop since Saturday night, looking for avid birdwatcher Hugh Haraway in the thick forest of the Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says countless people who live nearby, like Brent Cranford, came out to help search for Haraway.
“Just trying to help out and give extra eyes and my heart goes out to the family and I just felt like I could do something,” Cranford said.
“The residents here have been great,” Morris said. “They came out in droves with volunteers, people were calling the last two days asking how they could help.”
Search crews pinged Haraway’s phone, flew aircraft to search from above, and used every technology available to find Haraway.
Eventually, it was this bloodhound named Justice who pointed rescuers in the right direction according to the search crews.
Haraway’s two sons say he’s doing well considering the situation.
“He’s disoriented but mostly good,” Will Haraway said. “Yeah but mostly good.”
Haraway’s two sons had one simple message of thanks after the successful rescue mission.
“We just want to thank the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and all these volunteers and this whole community for banding together. Y’all are life savers, total life savers,” Will Haraway said.
Haraway is receiving medical treatment at Methodist North for non-critical injuries. We’re told he should make a full recovery.