UPDATE: Missing man found alive

By Goose Lindsay

Eco Heating and Air

WECO News

By Goose Lindsay

WECO News

The search for 84-year-old Bill Whitten, who had been missing from the Gobey community since Thursday afternoon, is over and has a happy ending as Whitten was found shortly after noon on Saturday.

”Mr. Whitten was located approximately at 1:30 (p.m.) today,” Morgan County Sheriff Wayne Potter said. “One of the locals there in Gobey found him.”

Whitten was found approximately one-half from his home and his overall condition is unknown at this time.

“He’s being transported to UT by LIFESTAR,” Potter said. “He’s got some injuries, some bruising, but there’s no way to tell if there are any broken bones or anything like that. He’s been out in this weather for the last 41, 42 hours so they’re concerned about hypothermia. He’s 85 years old so there’s a lot of medical concerns that they had.

“It looks like when he got back to his house from checking the mailbox that maybe instead of going into the residence he went off over an embankment down toward the creek. There’s no telling how long he had been laying there.”

The Morgan County Rescue Squad started the search Thursday night in the rugged hills of Gobey and were assisted by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, volunteer fire departments from around the area, the Morgan County Correctional Complex dog search team, Tennessee Highway Patrol and other East Tennessee agencies.

“I can’t say enough about everything that (Morgan County Rescue Squad Chief) Neil Noe and the rescue squad, and all the volunteer fire departments over the last two days, the last 41 hours,” Potter said. “They’ve just worked endlessly through rain, wind and they did a heck of a job. I just can say enough about them… I’d say this morning when daybreak hit I’m going to say there were 200 people there searching. It was simply amazing.”

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