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Missing Randolph man found - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Missing Randolph man found

Posted: Updated:
RANDOLPH, Vt. -

It was a close call for an elderly man who went missing overnight in record cold temperatures without a coat.

Ninety year-old Gilbert Garriepy was gingerly pulled from a pickup truck Monday afternoon. The vehicle was likely little protection from the frigid temperatures he endured all night long. 

"Mr. Garriepy was located by searchers in Randolph Village, approximately a half mile from the original search location. He was in the back of a pickup truck. In the back cab," said Vermont State Police Capt. Ray Keefe.

Police say Garriepy walked away from a residential care facility sometime after 7 p.m. Sunday. Staff noticed he was missing Monday morning and called police. A massive ground search ensued going door-to-door looking for the man. "That is why we used the media immediately to get our message out, get the picture out, and hopefully everybody in that area will help us look. That is how these things come to successful conclusions," Keefe said.

Garriepy was rushed to the hospital and police say he was in remarkably good condition considering he left Windover House without his winter jacket. Staff there, who declined to speak on camera, said this is not the first time Garriepy has wandered off. Police say he has been recently showing signs of dementia.

"He is from the Bethel area. He had hoped to get back there. Go to a local diner there; just be back in the Bethel area. Over the last couple of weeks he has expressed that concern over and over," Keefe said.

Facility operators say they had been working with Garriepy's family to find him a more secure facility. As a level three home, residents are allowed to come and go freely, something that police say almost cost this man his life. "That fact that he is still alive given our temperatures is pretty amazing," Keefe said.

Garriepy will be evaluated overnight at the hospital but Vermont State Police say it is likely he will make a full recovery.

Garriepy's family members were with him at the hospital. They also declined comment. 

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