On the more hopeful side of things, a drone this week helped resolve a missing person’s case. In Eau Claire County, Wisconsin a 68-year-old man was reportedly missing Tuesday morning when responders came to the scene.
The situation turned hopeful since Eau Claire County, like a lot of other areas within the United States have started adding drones in their arsenal. With flying drones, situations like this one no longer involve the long, tedious manual search by foot. Responders can simply scout the areas using the drones to rule out places to search. This means a more targeted approach. Leaving less room for error – which can prove to be the main difference between life and death in these situations.
Wisconsin Missing Persons Case
Most missing reports aim to be resolved within the day, since the nights can be quite cold in most places. This can create problems to the victims, who will face problems such as hunger, exhaustion, or even frostbite. Longer rescue efforts also creates a more problematic scene for responders since the trails will go cold. The area of search would be larger, and it will be a more inaccurate approach.
The drone from Eau Claire County had special upgrades just for this very scenario. Equipped with powerful thermal cameras, it can easily spot a person in a large unpopulated area. The drone who found the person did not belong specifically to the area’s Search and Rescue division. It was the property of the Division of Criminal Investigation, where the drone took a more police-oriented surveillance.
But at the end of the day it all turned out all right, with the 68-year-old man found quickly. Had they relied on responders searching manually on foot, it could have gotten worse. The man was spotted by the drone’s thermal vision fairly quickly, with the scene resolving 30 minutes after the Silver Alert broadcasted into the system.
In most cases of missing reports revolving around the elderly, the cause points to confusion or advanced stages of dementia. Most cases reported involve hours of searches, but with drones, that search period lessens dramatically.