|Contact: Edie Smith, Spokesperson
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
284 State Street
41 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Telephone: work (207) 592-4348
Fax: (207) 287-6395
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March 5, 2009
Man Found After 3-Hour Search
Augusta - A 76-year-old Jonesport man who suffers from dementia is safe after getting lost in the woods near his home today (March 5, 2009.)
Robert Ouellette, 76, of Jonesport was driving a tractor on his woodlot at approximately 4 p.m. when the vehicle stalled and got stuck in the snow.
Mr. Ouellette left the truck to head back home, but instead walked in the wrong direction and headed further into the woods.
Mr. Ouellette's family, concerned that he was not home at nightfall, began looking for him at approximately 5:30 p.m., and notified the Maine Warden Service at approximately 7 p.m.
Mr. Ouellette did not make tracks in the snow for searchers to follow because he was able to walk on the snow pack's crusty surface without breaking through, according to Game Warden Wade Carter.
The Jonesport man came upon a house with a light on inside, and a woman there called authorities to say Mr. Ouellette was fine at approximately 8:30 p.m.
Mr. Ouellette was not dressed for the freezing temperatures. Instead he was wearing attire for the enclosed, heated tractor. He suffered extremely cold feet, according to Warden Carter.
Four Game Wardens and four deputies from the Washington County Sheriff's Department searched for Mr. Ouellette. They were assisted by Jonesport Fire Department.