Searchers Find Elderly Man Lost in Garrison Woods

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith reports that an elderly man was found by searchers after he became lost while walking in the woods in Garrison late Saturday night (Aug. 10).

At about 6 p.m. on Saturday, the 95-year-old resident of White Plains and his wife had taken a car trip and were visiting the Boscobel Restoration, which is located at 1601 Route 9D in Garrison. The man went for a walk along a wooded trail on the site while his wife stayed with their car. When her husband did not return after more than two hours, she became worried and notified Boscobel officials, who commenced a search of the property without success.

A Boscobel official called 911 and sheriff’s deputies and investigators responded to the area. When they did not locate the man in their initial search, they summoned additional searchers to assist, including members of the Cold Spring Volunteer Fire Department and a Town of Kent Police Department canine handler.

As darkness descended, a Sheriff’s Office mobile command vehicle was deployed to set up a command post at the scene, where searchers coordinated a wider and more intensive manhunt in the thick woods and adjoining marshland. Sheriff’s deputies entered the area on two Polaris Ranger ATVs, equipped with lights. The searchers’ task was complicated by the exodus from the property of more than 500 persons — theater-goers who attended a play performance on the property grounds — while the search was underway.

After searchers had combed the area for more than three hours, Deputy Sheriff Johnathon Cihanek, on foot and with flashlight in hand, found the lost man at about a half-hour after midnight. The man had fallen down a steep and slippery ravine and was unable to climb back out of it. Deputies Cihanek and William Quick helped the victim out of the ravine and transported him by ATV back to the command post, where he was examined by medical responders. When he was determined not to be injured, but only very fatigued, he was reunited with his wife. The man refused any further medical attention.

Sheriff Smith said that, had searchers not found the man when they did, the outcome might have proved tragic. “Given the man’s very advanced years and his exhausting efforts to climb out of the ravine, he certainly could have become injured and then suffered dangerous exposure or shock as he lay there throughout the night.”

The sheriff cited what he termed: “the great team work of the folks at Boscobel, the volunteer firefighters and ambulance crew, and the deputies, investigators and police canine unit that came together to save the gentleman from serious harm.”

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