BAKER — An elderly man who had been reported missing from a small Alabama town was found lying down in the middle of the woods in northern Okaloosa County three days later by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials conducting an unrelated search.
Cecil Betterton, 89, had first been reported missing on Dec. 16, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. He had last been seen that day by family members in Georgiana, Alabama, a small town about an hour south of Montgomery and approximately one hour north of Baker. The agency noted Betterton may have been driving a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.
Deputies from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama told local news outlets Betterton may have suffered from a condition that impaired his judgment.
On Dec. 19, three FWC officers were assisting an Alabama sheriff’s office in locating a subject believed to be somewhere in Blackwater State Forest. During their search for the subject, they came across an elderly man, later identified as Betterton, in the middle of a dirt road “lying face down.”
According to the FWC report, Betterton appeared to have been lying on the dirt road for an extended time. The 89-year-old was not wearing shoes and was disoriented. Officers placed Betterton in their patrol car and drove him to a main road where EMS was waiting to assist him.
Betterton’s 2001 Chevy Silverado was located approximately 250 yards from where he was found. The vehicle was not operational due to having been stuck in mud. The truck was inventoried and taken by FWC officers to a Crestview tow company.
Betterton was taken to North Okaloosa Medical Center for treatment.