Missing Wood Co. man found alive and unharmed - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Missing Wood Co. man found alive and unharmed


An East Texas family is celebrating the safe return of their loved one who was missing for the last three days.

Robert Aearer has Alzheimer's. He was found late last night in Reno, Texas, almost two hours north of Hawkins. Searer was reunited with his family early this morning.

"I don't recall for sure what happened," says Robert, who doesn't remember exactly where he has been for the last three days.

All his family can remember is the panic they felt while he was gone.

"You look at your life real quick when he's gone and if that's the last minute you ever see him again. It just drove us all to our knees asking for his return," says son Mark Searer.

Robert is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. He also has a heart condition, and takes several medications. 

"I always had the sense that he was ok, just didn't want him to be scared," says daughter Samantha Fisher.

Samantha's sense ended up being true. Robert was found safe at around 11 o'clock last night in the Reno area, just outside of Paris, Texas.

"This policeman come over and started talking to me. I'm not sure why," Robert says.

"We want to thank patrolmen David Jernigan of Paris police department who saw dad as he came out of a store in Reno," Mark says.

"When I heard I was up hopping around like I was doing hopscotch," says wife Donna Searer.

They immediately drove to Reno to pick Robert up.

"I just ran up and grabbed him is all I could do. Hugged him," Donna says.

Robert, says everything seems like a fog in his memory. But believed Donna was with him the whole time.

"I just was out of it. It was funny because I was there all alone and I couldn't see her but she was still riding beside me," he says.

Together now smiling and laughing, for the family this experience gave them a true understanding of what 'family' really means.

"It makes you appreciate life so much more with your family," says Mark.

"Couldn't have been any better," Robert says.

The family says they want to thank every East Texan who helped in the search. Robert and Donna Searer will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next December.

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