Police find missing 78-year-old man in Hamden - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Police find missing 78-year-old man in Hamden

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Kingsley Birdsall. (Hamden police photo) Kingsley Birdsall. (Hamden police photo)

A 78-year-old man missing for a day was found safe in Hamden on Wednesday.

They said Kingsley Birdsall was reported missing by his wife on Tuesday, and crews started searching on Tuesday night.

"Very bad terrain, there are streams, ponds, rivers, trekked through most of that, search has encompassed several miles," said Hamden Police Capt. Ronald Smith.

Police and firefighters conducted a search in a wooded area near Julian Drive. Around noon time, the search switched to the Tom Swamp Road area.

Dr. David Katz offered to help search, as he is familiar with the wooded area and trails near his home on Tom Swamp Road.

"About a mile and a half or so into the woods, I almost hiked right by him. He was sitting on a stone, spotted him," Katz said.

K9 units and all-terrain vehicles were used to search for Birdsall, and the Connecticut State Police Trooper 1 helicopter also helped.

Around noon, Birdsall was loaded into the back of an ambulance. He appeared alert. 

Birdsall's wife became worried because her husband does not drive. 

She briefly told Eyewitness News the couple would be celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary in May and that she was dumbfounded by his disappearance. 

It turns out, Birdsall went for a hike on Tuesday afternoon near his home on Julian Drive. When he found him, Katz said he could tell Birdsall was dehydrated and continued to check his heart rate as they walked out of the woods. When it started to rise, Katz had him rest and ran back to the house to get him water and call 911.

"My hopes of finding him, because we've got a lot of woods here, were not high, but I figured another set of eyes and a couple of good noses could only help. I'm delighted how it turned out," Katz said.

Birdsall was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital to get checked out but he seemed to be okay.

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