Missing Brookings man found safe after three nights in woods

APPLEGATE, Ore. — “My name’s Melinda and I’m with Search and Rescue. Do you want to have a seat for a minute just in there?”

A Brookings man missing since Friday was found alive Monday afternoon after spending three nights lost in the woods.

69-year-old George Gower was last seen on Friday night asking for directions near Applegate Lake.

His vehicle was found crashed on a road nearby Saturday morning, but Gower was nowhere in sight.

Search and Rescue teams from Jackson and Josephine counties have been searching by ground and by air.

“We did some investigation and figured out who the vehicle belonged to and contacted family members who said their loved one who was supposed to be there hadn’t made it,” said Sgt. Shawn Richards from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Monday afternoon, the two-day search came to an end. The agency received a tip from a citizen who reported seeing a man matching Gower’s description from a Facebook post.

“They got the information to us,” said Sgt. Richards. “We were able to respond up that road which was quick a ways from the actual scene where the car crash was.”

According to Sgt. Richards, Gower got out of his car after the crash and got lost.

Gower was talking with search and rescue crews when he was brought to the command post, then taken to a local hospital for an evaluation.

“It’s fantastic, this is what we always want… to bring people home safe.”

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