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Man missing from home is reunited with family

WARRENTON --- A man reported missing from his home in Warrenton Saturday morning turned up in Lumpkin County later that night, authorities say. He was reunited with his family.

More than a dozen volunteer firefighters searched areas in two counties for 75-year-old Bill Smith, Warren County Emergency Management Agency Capt. Suzanne Warkentin said.

Deputies discovered Mr. Smith, an Alzheimer's patient, acting suspiciously at a Lumpkin County gas station about 10:30 Saturday night. They later learned he was a missing man out of Warren County, Warrenton Police Department Senior Patrol Officer Patricia Kendrick-Walker said.

"We're very glad it turned out like it did for Mr. Smith and his family," Warren County Emergency Management Agency Chief Tommy Wolfe said. "We really appreciate all of our volunteers helping us in the search."

Capt. Warkentin said searches had been conducted on roads throughout Warren County, but authorities were unable to turn up any trace of Mr. Smith. Searches also were made in neighboring McDuffie County.

In Thomson, volunteers and law enforcement authorities searched downtown, as well as at WalMart, Capt. Warkentin said.

Mr. Smith drove off in the family's 2008 Ford Explorer. He was reported missing about 10 a.m., when his wife awakened to discover her husband and the vehicle gone. Mr. Smith last was seen driving along U.S. Highway 278 toward Thomson.

Assisting in the search were several law enforcement agencies, including Warrenton Police Department, Warren County Sheriff's Department, Thomson Police Department, McDuffie County Sheriff's Department and Georgia State Patrol.

Web posted on Thursday, October 15, 2009

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