Crews successfully find missing man at Bays Mountain Park

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – Search and rescue teams successfully found a man who was reported missing last night. According to Kingsport spokesperson Barry Brickey, Donald Pierson was found not far from the wolves habitat at Bays Mountain Park.

The Kingsport Police Department reports Pierson was found ‘safe and sound’. Police said he apparently became disoriented while walking back to his car. Pierson, as a result, wandered quite a distance in the opposite direction, according to police spokesperson Tom Patton.

Police said he spent the night in the woods, but by daybreak managed to find his way back to the general area of the animal habitat.

Pierson told searchers, he saw the helicopter and flashlights of the search party during the night, but he says they were ‘just out of reach.’

Police say he appears to be well and he is in the process of being medically evaluated.

Officials say due to his age and medical history, he will most likely be taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

The following is our previous story:

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – This morning, Kingsport police are resuming their search for a man who last seen visiting an animal habitat area at a Kingsport park. The man was reported missing Wednesday night.

According to a news release from Kingsport Police, Donald C. Pierson, 67, was last seen around 7:40 p.m. Wednesday when he left his family as they visited the animal habitat area at Bays Mountain Park.  Police say Pierson told his group he planned to walk alone back to the car.

“When the rest of his party returned to the car, Mr. Pierson was nowhere to be found and has not been seen or heard from since,” said KPD spokesman Tom Patton.

KPD officers were searching Bays Mountain Park Wednesday night. Kingsport Fire Department spokesperson, Barry Brickey told News Channel 11 so far 40 people spent five hours last night searching for Donald Pierson. Crews concentrated their efforts to a one-mile radius of the parking lot at Bays Mountain.

Today, crews will comb over those areas again and expand as needed, according to Brickey.

The park on top of Bays Mountain is owned and operated by the City of Kingsport.

Pierson is 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 250 lbs. He was last seen wearing a dark-colored t-shirt, a blue ball cap, and brown shoes. Police said he has diabetes.

“It is also entirely possible that someone may have picked him up and given him a ride out of the park,” Patton said.

If you see Pierson, call Kingsport Police Department at 423-246-9111.

Copyright 2017 WJHL.  All rights reserved.

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