Missing Rutherfordton man is found alive, injured
RUTHERFORDTON — A Rutherford County man was located by law enforcement and emergency personnel Wednesday afternoon, 150 yards from his residence located at 131 North Hillside Street in Rutherfordton.
Roy "Chip" Dywayne Edge, a 51-year-old Caucasian male, had been reported missing and last seen in Rutherfordton Tuesday.
Early Wednesday morning the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons issued a Silver Alert for Edge, and Wednesday afternoon Police Chief Kevin Lovelace met with emergency management officials to discuss searching parts of the area where Edge was last seen in Rutherfordton.
Edge is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment, and law enforcement were concerned that Edge might end up somewhere where no help was available.
"In speaking with some family members, he's had a history of similar behavior of disappearing for several days or up to a week," Lovelace said. "They indicated that he is very capable of surviving in the wilderness on his own. Although this is not a heavy wilderness area, there are some wooded areas in the vicinity."
Around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Edge was located after a ground search involving the Rutherfordton Police Department and Rutherfordton Fire Department.
According to Lovelace, Edge was found on the property of the old New Hope Middle School, which is adjacent to his home, 150 yards away.
When law enforcement and emergency personnel located Edge, he was incoherent and injured and covered with blood and dirt.
Rutherford County EMS transported him to Rutherford Regional Medical Center for his injuries.
"Whether it was an accident that caused his injuries or whether it was an assault, we don't know at this time because he is still incoherent," Lovelace said. "We have no indications to suggest foul play at this time — there's nothing pointing to that but you never rule that out totally. His injuries don't appear to be life-threatening at this time, but we'll be continuing our investigation once we are able to speak with him and see what exactly took place."