By Kirra Grimes
MISSING Korumburra man John Jones has been located safe and well after a large-scale search operation in Wonthaggi.
SES Search and Rescue volunteers found Mr Jones in scrubland 150 metres south of Wonthaggi Hospital at 2pm today.
Police have told the Sentinel-Times the 67-year-old was “conscious and breathing” and “probably a bit hungry and dehydrated” when he was found, but they were unable to provide further details of his physical condition, or say whether he’d sustained any injuries during his 32-hour disappearance.
Mr Jones, who has dementia, went missing from Wonthaggi Hospital at 5.30am yesterday, Wednesday October 2.
Wonthaggi Police Acting Sergeant Glen Rielly said it was unknown where Mr Jones had spent the night.
“We don’t know, and we probably won’t know exactly where he’s been, because of his dementia – he won’t be able to tell us. But we believe he may have been walking,” Sgt Rielly said.
Local police, the Victoria Police Air Wing, and dozens of SES volunteers from Wonthaggi and surrounding areas participated in the search, which started around 9.30am yesterday.
The area Mr Jones was found in today was one that had been covered yesterday, Sgt Rielly said.
Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child was unable to comment on the circumstances of Mr Jones’ disappearance or on Wonthaggi Hospital’s security protocols for dementia patients, when contacted by the Sentinel-Times this afternoon.
“We’re all so happy he’s been found,” Ms Child said.