Missing person found after night outdoors

Published 5:09 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2016


The Demopolis Police Department has located a man who was reported missing on Monday after his vehicle was found stuck and abandoned on his property.
Joe E. Lashley, 85, was found Tuesday morning and according to the Demopolis Police Department was in “good condition,” but suffered from scratches and dehydration after having been in the elements throughout the night.
The DPD initially responded to the missing person call at approximately 8 p.m. on Monday. Responding officers were told that Lashley was lasted heard from around 5 p.m. by his son. The son told police that during that last contact Lashley said that he had gotten stuck in a rut and was going to walk home. Lashley also said that while he could not provide his exact location, he thought he was on his own property.
At that time, law enforcement officials walked Lashley’s property, but did not find him or his vehicle. An alert was put out statewide and on social media asking the public and other law enforcment to be on the lookout for Lashley and his vehicle.
Officers later received a call from Rusty Godwin, a property owner, who stated he saw the post on Facebook and had also seen Lashley and his vehicle off of County Road 54 near Lakeview Acres in Gallion.
After a search of that property, officers located Lashley’s vehicle, but did not find him. Tuscaloosa Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit was called in to search the area from the air, but had no success.
Around 9:52 A.M., Lashley was located approximately 1.5 miles from where his vehicle was found. He was taken to Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital as a precaution.
“We give thanks to God for allowing us to be able to bring him back home to his family,” said DPD Chief Tommie Reese. “We also thank the members of the Demopolis Police Department, Mr. Godwin, the Marengo County Rescue Squad, the South Marengo County Rescue Squad and numerous volunteers from West Rock Paper Mill Company in Demopolis for their assistance.”

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