Relief for the family of a man missing in South Burlington after a big search Thursday.
South Burlington Police spent about six hours searching for Cliffe Joel, 80, who went missing from an assisted living facility.
There was concern for his health because he has dementia and uses a walker, which he had left behind.
It turns out Joel had plans to go to Boston with a friend and simply forgot to sign out or notify his family. Police were eventually able to reach the friend via cellphone.
They say if it weren't for the help of social media the search likely would have continued well into the night until Joel returned from Boston.
"We find that particularly through Facebook the coverage that we get and the almost instant communication for cases like this are great," South Burlington Police Chief Trevor Whipple said.
Whipple says a new search and rescue law that went into effect July 1 requiring a coordinated search effort among multiple law enforcement agencies was not needed in this case, because South Burlington is an urban area and that law applies to wilderness areas and large waterways. But he was in contact with state police, just in case.
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