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Air 1/Search And Rescue Volunteers Locate Missing Farmer

Posted 7/30/2013 3:36 PM by MDGREGORY

On Monday, July 29, 2013, at about 4:00 p.m., a farmer in southeast Spokane County left his residence on his ATV to work on his property. After not returning home, several family members and neighbors searched the area, located southeast of Fairfield, and were not able to locate the 68-year-old male. At about midnight, the Sheriff's Office was contacted and deputies responded to the scene.

Once deputies arrived on scene, Deputy Thad Schultz, the Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) coordinator, was contacted and multiple volunteers from the SAR program responded to the scene along with Air 1.

Air 1 and the SAR volunteers searched the area until approximately 5:00 a.m. this morning. After Air 1 refueled, the crew returned to the area. Deputy Schultz was able to narrow the search area by that time and Air 1 located the victim in a heavily wooded area at about 6:45 a.m. this morning. Tactical Flight Officer's Jeff Thurman and Brandon Armstrong notified SAR volunteers, the pilot was able to safely land near the body and deputies and SAR volunteers confirmed the victim had driven over an embankment on his ATV and was deceased. Medical personnel transported the victim to Holy Family Hospital where an autopsy will be completed at a later time. Deputies did not suspect anything suspicious and said it appears it was a tragic accident.

The Medical Examiner's Office will release identity of the victim.