UPDATE: Clifford Persons was found alive in Canada on Tuesday, July 12, and is being evaluated by medical personnel, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
ORIGINAL STORY: Authorities are searching for an 87-year-old man with deep ties to northwest Montana after he failed to return to his vehicle on Saturday, July 8, while hunting for mushrooms in the Frozen Lake area along the international border east of Eureka.
Clifford Persons was reported missing that evening when his son told emergency dispatchers that his father had been picking mushrooms with a friend but didn’t return. Deputies from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and members of Can-Am Search and Rescue were dispatched to the area, located approximately 11.5 miles east of Eureka. A helicopter crew from Two Bear Air Rescue was also contacted and responded to the area to assist.
“They flew to the area and searched for over an hour before being called to another emergency,” according to a Tuesday press release from Lincoln County Sheriff Darren Short. “They returned and resumed operations Sunday morning.”
Joining the search on Sunday were ground crews and K9 units from David Thompson Search and Rescue. On Monday, additional crews and dog-and-handler teams continued to search the area, along with resources from Flathead County Search and Rescue, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the U.S. Border Patrol, and U.S. Forest Service fire crews.
The search is ongoing with all available resources, according to the press release.
Persons is a well-known member of the Big Mountain skiing community at Whitefish Mountain Resort and is the stepfather to Tommy Moe, the gold-medal winning Olympic skier who was raised on the local slopes. A former ski patroller, groomer and mountain manager, Persons continued to ski four days a week despite his advanced age.
Anyone with information about Persons should call 911 or contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at (406) 293-4112.
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