Feb. 7, 2013: Missing Man - Thousand Oaks

Team members along with Ventura County Fire evaluating the subject and treating for exposure. Photo by Jason Boruta

02/07/13 , Thursday 21:00 – 02/08/13, Friday, 05:00 Hours

On Thursday, February 7, during the monthly team meeting, East Valley Search and Rescue was requested to search for a missing 72-year-old man in Thousand Oaks, near The Oaks mall. The man, who suffers from dimensia, went for an afternoon walk at 16:30 hours. He takes walks daily, though usually with another family member. When he hadn't returned by 19:00 hours, the subject's family called the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

A command post was established outside the subjects residence and hasty teams were sent into the surrounding apartment complexes and in trucks to search the surrounding blocks. When hasty teams were unsuccessful, dedicated search zones were established and the teams began more thorough examinations. After the first round of assignments again showed no sign of the subject, the search area was broadened and additional resources from the Canine Team were brought in.

The search area was again increased around 04:00 hours. Rookie rescuer, Charles Buttitta was searching the North end of Thousand Oaks when he passed what looked like a dark back pack on the side of the road. Charles took a closer look and identified the missing man. He was cold, had some superficial injuries to his arm, but was in good spirits. He was transported to the local hospital by ambulance and treated for hypothermia. The subject was found approximately 4 miles from his home, though the actual distance he traveled could not be determined.