By Holly Crocco
A relentless search by members of several emergency services agencies – paid and volunteer – resulted in the best possible outcome in the recent search for a missing man.
According to Carmel Police Chief Anthony Hoffman, Roy Clayton, 66, of Myrtle Avenue in Mahopac Falls, was reported missing by family members after he wandered away from his residence on the evening of Thursday, July 27.
“The man had gone for a walk and had some medical conditions, which made him an endangered missing, which ramped up our response,” he explained at the Aug. 2 Carmel Town Board meeting.
That night, Carmel Police Department dispatched its canine and drone units to assist investigators and other officers in searching the area. In addition, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, Westchester County Police and Mahopac Falls Volunteer Fire Department all joined in the search efforts.
With the man still missing, efforts to find him continued into the weekend.
“We ended up, on Monday morning, as we investigated through the neighborhood, we were able recanvass and find Mr. Clayton on home security footage walking up Rustic Road and into the Pouting Rock neighborhood,” explained Hoffman.
Through a coordinated search with Westchester County Police’s aviation unit, Carmel Police Officer Vincent DeSantola and K-9 Pietro, along with NYSP Trooper Greg Porteus and K9 Jet, located Clayton about a quarter-mile into a densely wooded area behind Carmine Drive and Pounding Rock Road.
Members of the MFVFD helped transport him to a helicopter and he was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center, “where, I’ve been told today, he is recovering,” said Hoffman on Aug. 2. “He has some lingering issues from the exposure, but he’s going to be well.”
The chief thanked all the agencies and volunteers who helped find Clayton. Specifically, he pointed out the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers, “whose human tracking abilities are second to none;” as well as members of the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services Technical Rescue Team.
“Thank you, on behalf of the Carmel Police Department, Town of Carmel and the Clayton family,” he said. “Excellent job. Job well done and I’m proud to work with all of you.”