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Pulaski rescuers help locate missing man

By MELINDA WILLIAMS
melinda@southwesttimes.com

RADFORD – Members of Pulaski County Search and Rescue Management Team helped locate a missing Goodwill employee Thursday.

The local team members, along with members of Southwest Virginia Mountain Rescue Group from Blacksburg, located 44-year-old Timmy Richard White.

The mentally challenged man was found off Lovely Mount Drive in the city of Radford. He was about two miles from the Duncan Lane Goodwill, where he was last seen Wednesday morning.

Radford City Police Department Lt. Andy Wilburn said White was taken to the hospital for a wellbeing check and was found to be in good health. He was then reunited with his family.

White lived in Christiansburg, but worked at the Radford Goodwill Store. He went missing when he became upset Wednesday morning and walked away from the store, according to Wilburn.

An extensive search using police blood hounds Wednesday failed to locate White.

Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis established the county’s search and rescue team in 2011 for use in lost and missing person cases, natural disasters and at crime scenes, if needed. It consists of law enforcement and other emergency service personnel.

Davis said this is the first time the team has been called to help outside the county and they were glad to be able to help. He noted the team receives a mass call when they are needed and “we’ve been fortunate to get a great response.”

Speaking of the Radford search, the sheriff added, “Today was truly a positive find. We were thrilled it ended successfully and on such a positive note.”

Like many aspects of law enforcement, Davis said finding a missing person in the first 24 hours plays a vital part in a successful outcome.

When the sheriff’s department gets moved into its new facility (in the former Verizon building on Route 99), Davis said, he would like to expand the team to include volunteers. In the cramped headquarters the department currently occupies, there is not sufficient room for training.