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A 72-year-old Piedmont, W.Va., man was located alive and in good condition in the Savage River State Forest by searchers on Sunday, June 6, at 8:30 p.m., according to a report from the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP).
James Lewis Alt had been missing since June 5 at 4 p.m. when he failed to return to the vehicle after he had been hunting for ginseng on state forest property. He was located approximately one mile from where he was last seen and 1½ miles from the nearest road. Alt was suffering from back pain and dehydration. He was removed from the location by a wheeled stokes basket.
Alt and two other companions separated from each other at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the area of Savage River Road. The group was to meet back at the vehicle at 4 p.m., but Alt failed to return at that time. Alt was reported missing at 8 p.m.
The search continued for Alt throughout the night. The NRP Search Support Unit coordinated the search. The following organizations assisted in the search: NRP K-9, Maryland Park Service, Maryland Forest Service, Appalachian Search and Rescue Conference, Mid Atlantic Search Dogs, Mountain Rescue Group, Horse Base Search Group (TrotSAR), Potomac Valley SAR, and Bloomington Volunteer Fire Department.
A total of sixty–five searchers looked through 6,000 acres of steep terrain and heavily wooded forest on foot and on horseback. An NRP spokesperson expressed his appreciation to the following organizations for their food donations to the participants during the search: Oakland Wal-Mart, Grantsville Subway, Grantsville Arby’s, Grantsville Exxon, and Keyser’s Ridge McDonald’s.
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