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Missing Person Found In Minutes

By Staff | Feb 17, 2010

On Feb. 3 at 11:32 a.m., the New Martinsville Police Department Dispatch Center received a complaint of a missing person. The person was a client of Wetzel County Project Lifesaver that is coordinated by Sgt. Dave Byers of the NMPD.

The complainant advised that her 84-year-old husband had gone to the pharmacy and bank at 9:30 a.m. and had not returned. Since the missing person was driving a vehicle, the department immediately took information to enter the missing person into NCIC. After obtaining the information that was needed to start the search Sgt. Byers left NMPD with a receiver. “We had notified Ptl. F. Estep of NMPD and Tyler County Project Lifesaver,” said Byers. “Tom Cooper of Tyler County was responding with John Bennett, Helen Bennett, and Lisa Jackson.”

As Sgt. Byers searched through New Martinsville, he picked up a signal in the area of state Route 2 and Duerr Street. He followed the signal to Wal Mart where he entered the store and located the missing person.

The missing person was found 11 minutes after the search began. He was returned safely to his residence.

Sgt. Byers has been an Electronic Search Specialist with Project Lifesaver since May 2007. He is also a State Electronic Search Specialist Instructor, an International Electronic Search Specialist Instructor, an Airborne Search Specialist, and an Airborne Search Specialist Instructor. The other responders were all Electronic Search Specialist and State Electronic Search Specialist Instructors. Project Lifesaver is a program that places a transmitter on people with Alzheimer’s, Autism, and other cognitive disabilities who, if they become lost or wander, may not be able to find their way home or communicate with others.

“We have the ability to place several clients on this program in the Wetzel and Tyler county area,” said Byers. ” The cost of this program is $10 per month.”

Clients can be placed on the program by contacting Sgt. Byers at New Martinsville Police Department or Cooper at Tyler County Office of Emergency Management.