In the early hours Saturday, Game Wardens located a missing 90-year-old man who had become lost in the woods after a day of hunting for artifacts in western Maine.

Officials say James Thomas of Mexico, Maine had left a note for his family on Friday saying he was headed to Township E in Franklin County "to look for artifacts around old cellar holes and settlements." When he didn’t return Friday evening, his family drove to the area and saw that his truck was still at his camp but his ATV was missing.

Family members searched for Mr. Thomas long after dark but were unable to find him, and called 911 at around 11:15 p.m., according to Mark Latti of the Maine Warden Service. Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputies and Border Patrol Agents joined Wardens and began searching the area.

Missing man found off logging road in western Maine

At approximately 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Game Warden Alex Maxsimic spotted the man’s ATV, parked in some bushes beside a logging road several miles from the camp. Game Warden Chad Robertson deployed K9 Storm in this area, and at around 3:15 a.m., they located Thomas about a quarter of a mile from where the ATV was found.


Maine Warden Service
Maine Warden Service


A cold October night in the Maine woods

Mr. Thomas was uninjured, but was very cold, as he was not wearing winter clothing, Latti said. The 90-year-old man said he had spent some time searching for objects in the area with his metal detector on Friday, but was unable to find his ATV when he attempted to return that evening. He then decided to walk to his truck, but without a working flashlight, he got lost in the woods. The temperature had dropped to 38 °F, and it was quite windy.

Game wardens warmed Thomas up in a patrol truck and transported him back to his family, Latti said.

Township E in Franklin County–not to be confused with E Township in Aroostook County–is largely wilderness area along the Appalachian Trail just south of Sandy River Plantation.

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