Man found after extensive search

A 78-year-old man with dementia was found and treated for hypothermia after an extensive search Friday evening. More than a dozen officers, along with concerned neighbours and friends, searched for hours.

A 78-year-old man with dementia was found and treated for hypothermia after an extensive search Friday evening.

More than a dozen officers, along with concerned neighbours and friends, searched for hours before the man was found lying in the snow by a police service dog.

The senior, whose name is not being released, was last seen in his Porter Creek home around 2 p.m. but was not there when the family returned three hours later.

After searching the home and immediate neighbourhood, the family called police.

“They searched their residences, they called neighbours to help and then, realizing they couldn’t do it on their own, they called us,” said Whitehorse RCMP Const. Christine Grant.

Officers from the police services dog unit, traffic services and anyone else who was on watch that day came to help along with neighbours, family and friends.

Whitehorse Search and Rescue were advised but never called into service.

Temperatures that evening dropped to around -16. The man was wearing a leather jacket and light boots.

At about 7:30 p.m., Crash, a three-year-old German Shepherd police service dog, and his handler Cpl. Cam Long found the man lying in two feet of snow. He was near a power utility building a few blocks from his home, Grant said.

“When they found him he was able to make eye contact but was not verbally responsive and he was shivering,” she said.

It’s not clear how long the man had been outdoors.

He was treated at Whitehorse General Hospital for hypothermia and released.

Grant said the family did the right thing by calling police.

“We’re just really pleased that everything worked out for the family.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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