NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges has confirmed that a 73-year-old Cushing man who went missing on since Sept. 24 was found alive near Lone Star Road Tuesday morning.
According Ernest McBride's family members, he was taken to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital for evaluation.
"We are all very relieved that Mr. McBride has been found and is getting medical attention," Bridges said in a press release. "The sheriff's office would like to thank the public for all the tips and information received while conducting this investigation. We would also like to thank the media for helping us get this information out to the public."
According to the press release NCSO deputies responded to a 911 call in in the 110 block of County Road 820 in reference to a man that needed medical attention. The deputies arrived on the scene four minutes after the initial 911 call.
Deputies immediately identified the man as Ernest McBride, who was last seen walking along FM 343 near the Western Hill store on Sept. 24.
The press release stated that McBride was found by two men who were mowing the yard of a rental property where several trailer houses are located. McBride was found under the awning of a shed located at the back of the property.
McBride was rushed to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital, and the press release stated that his condition is stable. Bridges said that McBride was severely dehydrated and had numerous insect bites all over his body.
On Sunday, McBride's family spoke to the East Texas News.
McBride's step-daughter, Ann Watson, said it's not like him to wander off. Watson said although McBride hasn't been clinically diagnosed with the disease, family members think he is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
"My son had talked him into moving in with him, and when he went to pick him up, he was gone," Watson said.
Watson said that she didn't think her step-father would just leave for no reason because he loves his family. She said that she thought McBride hitched a ride into town before he vanished without a trace.
"The dogs picked up his scent on FM 343 and they lost it into the road and we think somebody picked him up and gave him a ride," Watson said.
NCSO deputies have spoken to several people who saw Ernest McBride walking east on FM 343 Wednesday afternoon near the Western Hills store. McBride was spotted by several motorists.
"Unfortunately by the time we received this information of his last known location, the information was nearly 24 hours old," Nacogdoches County sheriff Jason Bridges said in a press release. "The sheriff's office and several other agencies have conducted numerous searches of this area. Tracking dogs along with helicopters have also been utilized."
The press release stated that a Forestry Service tracking dog was able to pick up a scent where McBride was last seen. Although the K-9 tracked the scent for several hundred yards, it lost the scent near the edge of the roadway.
"At this time, we believe that Ernest McBride was possibly picked up by a motorist on FM 343 Wednesday afternoon and given a ride to an unknown location," Bridges said.
"I am so glad that he is alive and breathing," said Watson.