Civilian pilot helps locate missing Grayson County elderly man - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Civilian pilot helps locate missing Grayson County elderly man

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LEITCHFIELD, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Grayson County elderly man is home safe after going missing for about 14 hours. 

The Golden Alert went out Wednesday night when 77-year-old Aubrey Wood's family became desperate to find him. 

"They made contact with him via cell phone. He said he had run off the road, went into a cornfield and didn't know where he was located," said Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins. 

Wood was actually in a soybean field far removed from Quiggins Lane off Lilac Road in Grayson County and hard to find. The sheriff's office launched a search effort that went into the night and continued Thursday morning.  

"Unfortunately, we were thinking it was going to be a worse-case scenario," Chaffins said. 

Chaffins says Wood has mental health issues and needed his medication. But then there was some hope. 

"I just seen a helicopter from another farm that we have," said Doug Childress, who owns the property where would was found. 

"My first response was, who's in that helicopter up there?" Chaffins said. 

A civilian decided to use his helicopter to help track down the missing man. The pilot, Mike Payne, tells us he saw a story about Wood on the news and decided to pitch in. 

"Basically, jumped in a helicopter, flew out to Grayson County," Payne said in a phone interview. 

Payne says he spotted the unusual tracks in the soybean field. 

"Basically, his words to me was, 'I've been out here for two days,'" Payne said. "I had a bottle of water for him. When we did find him, he drank a couple of sips of the water ... got him into the helicopter as fast as we could."

Wood was reunited with his family. 

"To see them get out of the car and run to him and give him a big hug and tell him they loved him, it was very emotional for everybody and a very good outcome," Chaffins said. "Best outcome we could have possibly had." 

His family declined to comment, but Wood is back at home. 

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