Using helicopters, bloodhounds, and technology, missing “at-risk” man located at HVH

HEMET — City, county, and state law enforcement agencies worked together tonight to find a missing elderly man considered “at-risk.” Officials searched from the ground and air, using a sheriff’s helicopter and scent-tracking bloodhound, as well as numerous patrol officers and deputies during their search.

Tonight’s search ended when officials found the missing man at Hemet Valley Hospital and he has since been reunited with his thankful family.


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Hemet police officers began searching for the man around 5 p.m., after concerned family members reported him missing. The man, known only as Charles, was last seen wearing khaki pants and a black hat. He was reported missing from Colonial Golf and Country Club.

Police and sheriff’s officials worked together to track a missing, “at-risk” elderly man. Robert Carter/Public Safety Incidents photo

Early in their investigation, Hemet PD requested additional resources and assistance from other area law enforcement agencies including CHP and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Based on the circumstances, sheriff’s officials sent both ground and air resources to assist in the search for the missing man, sending an aviation crew in “Star-9” and a sheriff’s bloodhound to help with tracking the missing man’s scent using clothing the victim had recently worn.

While aviation members searched from overhead, making occasional announcements from the helicopter’s PA system, officers and deputies began searching from the ground, checking areas the missing man was known to frequent.

After receiving the victim’s scent, a sheriff’s bloodhound immediately set about tracing the man’s path away from his residence, first heading south on Kirby St. away from the man’s home toward Florida Ave. The bloodhound then headed westbound on Florida Ave. toward Sanderson Ave., before crossing the street and doubling back, heading east.

While officials searched, emergency dispatchers began using the victim’s cell phone’s GPS to “ping” the phone and determine its current location.

At around 9 p.m., officials reported finding the missing man at Hemet Valley Hospital. It was not immediately known how or why the elderly victim ended up at the hospital, but the sheriff’s bloodhound had been following the man’s scent in the direction of HVH.

Officials immediately notified the victim’s family, who quickly responded to the hospital where they were reunited with their missing loved one.

Robert Carter/Public safety Incidents video


Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations, including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook, as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and The Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 – soon to be 16 – grandchildren.