Community search helps family find 58-year-old man

Individual located approximately 12 hours later


A Sparta man who had not returned home more than 12 hours after he was expected was located with the help of emergency services personnel, law enforcement, and residents of the community.

According to Charlie Tollison, assistant chief with Sparta-White County Rescue Squad, he was extremely proud and thankful for the concerned individuals who rallied to assist with the search that occurred Sept. 26, 2021

“The response was unbelievable,” Tollison said. “We were able to muster six teams within  90 minutes, with 10 to 11 people in each team. Five teams had gone out, and we had released Team 6 to go into the field but stopped them because radio chatter said they had found him.”

Doug Goff, Sparta police chief, was equally thankful for the assistance and further explained the chain of events that led to the search.

“We were notified at approximately 10:18 a.m., on Sunday, Sept. 26, about a 58-year-old male subject who was missing,” Goff said. “The subject had gone for a walk and had not returned after a period of time. The family became concerned.”

Reports from E-911 indicated the subject had been seen between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., on Sept. 26, in the vicinity of NHC Healthcare of Sparta. He was finally located at approximately 3:30 p.m.

Goff also wanted to thank all the law enforcement entities that assisted with the search, which included Sparta Police Department and White County Sheriff’s Office. Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and Cumberland County Sheriff’s office both provided K-9 units. Putnam County Sheriff’s Office also provided a helicopter for search efforts.

Goff said, “On behalf of the family and myself, I want to thank everyone who assisted with this search. When a community comes together, miracles can happen.”     


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