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Reno Police find a missing elderly man miles from home

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Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014 3:23 pm | Updated: 11:23 am, Tue Feb 25, 2014.

A missing elderly man from Hawkins, Texas was found in Lamar County over the weekend. A Silver alert for the 77-year-old man went state-wide on Feb. 19, so when a Reno Police officer ran his name after noticing him roaming the street lost, the missing person file of Robert Eugene Searer out of Wood County immediately appeared.

Officer David Jernigan was patroling late Friday night and stopped for gas at the Reno Quick Stop when he saw the elderly man that appeared lost, according to Reno Police Chief Matt Birch.

“After a standard drivers license check, Officer Jernigan was informed that the man was missing out of Wood County and immediately had Lamar County dispatch contact authorities in Wood County to arrange a safe return to his family back home,” Birch said.

Silver Alert’s are similar to Amber Alert’s for missing children; they are for missing elderly residents who suffer from dementia, Alzheimers or other similar impairments and become lost.

“The broadcast is done over secure law enforcement communications networks so if an officer encounters the lost person and runs his driver’s license information, the officer will be alerted,” Birch said. “Which is essentially what happened.”

Searer was later reunited with his family, who came to get him and his truck in Reno. Officer Jernigan waited with Searer at Reno City Hall for a couple of hours until his family arrived, according to the police chief.

“This is one of the more rewarding services law enforcement officers can provide,” Birch said. “It was a very simple thing that led us to cross paths with Mr. Searer and we are all just grateful those paths crossed where they did so that he could be returned home safely. Officer Jernigan also did a great job of following a standard practice which led him to the discovery, and followed through by providing what help he could to a person and family in need.”

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