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Cutting edge technology helps find missing man quickly

Using Project Lifesaver, Ernest Meadows was found in a ditch about 700 yards from his home...
Using Project Lifesaver, Ernest Meadows was found in a ditch about 700 yards from his home within an hour of going missing.(Columbus County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 10:01 PM EST
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TABOR CITY, N.C. (WECT) - A Columbus County man with a cognitive impairment who went missing was quickly located by law enforcement thanks to a program that employs transmitters that use radio technology to emit individualized frequency signals.

During the early morning hours of December 6, Ernest Meadows left his home on Busy Bee Farm Trail, Tabor City and became disorientated. His family reported him missing.

A search was initiated by the Sheriff’s Office and, despite foggy conditions, he was found in a ditch about 700 yards from his home within an hour.

Meadows’ family had been concerned about him getting confused and wandering off, so had previously contacted the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office and registered Meadows for Project Lifesaver.

Project Lifesaver is a non-profit organization that provides the technology for law enforcement and caregivers to help locate “at risk” individuals with cognitive disorders who go missing.

Using a receiver to follow the audible alerts, specially trained search and rescue personnel are guided to the missing person’s location.

Columbus County Sheriff’s Office has Project Lifesaver units available free of charge for qualifying individuals. Call Lt. High at (910) 642-6551 for additional information.

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