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Elderly man found Monday after search in west central Minnesota

Submitted Photo from Lac qui Parle County Sheriff's Department shows volunteers, law enforcement officers and emergency personnel involved with the search Monday of an elderly man, who was located near Madison.

MADISON — An 81-year-old Madison man, whose vehicle was discovered in a slough after he had been reported missing Monday morning in Lac qui Parle County, was located following a ground and air search by about 75 volunteers, law enforcement officers and emergency personnel.

When he was found Monday afternoon, Curtis Eugene Weber was cold and exhausted but conscious and alert, according to Sheriff Allen Anderson, who posted information on the department's Facebook page.

He was taken to the Madison hospital to be evaluated.

Weber was reported missing at 8 a.m. Monday.

It's not clear exactly how long he had been missing, but the initial information from the sheriff's department indicates Weber was last seen at his home at about 10 p.m. Sunday.

Residents were asked to look for Weber — who reportedly has health and vision problems — along roads, trails, fields, parking lots and outbuildings in an area southwest of Madison.

Weber's vehicle was found in a slough about a quarter mile off County Road 14 and emergency personnel were called to the scene where a ground search, aerial search by drones and a K-9 search by a Willmar police canine officer, was conducted.

Because of the rain, the drones were eventually halted but the ground search continued and Weber was eventually found at around 12:45 p.m. about three-fourths of a mile from his vehicle.

"The quick response and assistance from everyone made this search and rescue a success," wrote Anderson in the Facebook update.

Agencies that assisted the Lac qui Parle Sheriff's Office included sheriff's departments from Renville, Pope and Douglas counties, the Willmar Police K-9 unit, Madison Ambulance and fire departments from Madison, Dawson, Marietta, Bellingham, Boyd, Nassau and Louisburg.

Anderson also gave credit to Midwest Machinery, Fieldcrest Fertilizer and Fernholz Crop Insurance for providing equipment and personnel to assist with the search.

"We should all be proud of our local communities for coming together and finding this man," Weber said in a press release. "We had people come from everywhere to help, which made this a successful day."

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750