SCDNR Investigators Use Phone Technology to Find Missing Hunter in Distress

A person holding a mobile phone.
Mark Herlihy

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources officers employed phone technology to quickly locate a man reported missing by his family while hunting on New Year’s Day, allowing him to receive urgent medical treatment.

SCDNR officers received a call at about 3 p.m. on Jan. 1 saying family members had not heard from a man who had planned to hunt with dogs on his family’s property near the border of Bamberg and Orangeburg counties. The man has a medical condition, wasn’t answering calls and family members weren’t able to locate the man’s truck in the area he was supposed to be hunting.

Investigators turned to telecommunications technology that the agency first began using several years ago and that they can access during emergency circumstances. Within minutes, SCDNR officers had pinged the man’s phone and pinpointed his location within 50 feet, some 5 miles from where the man had said he would be hunting.

Using the location provided by officers, the man’s son found his father initially unresponsive beside his truck on an unfamiliar property. The son told officers that when his father regained consciousness, he was disoriented and confused.

Paramedics responded and the man was taken to a hospital for medical care.

“This is a great example of game wardens doing life-saving work in their communities with the aid of technology,” said Col. Chisolm Frampton, head of the agency’s Law Enforcement Division.

SCDNR Law Enforcement Division is comprised of four regions throughout the state and enforces the state’s boating, hunting and game laws. The agency supports other state and law enforcement agencies in investigations and missing persons cases.

Written by SCDNR.