CHESHIRE TOWNSHIP — Charles E. Withee, 78, of Rio Grande, was reported missing by his wife at approximately midnight on Tuesday morning but then discovered a few hours later at 3:50 a.m. by area first responders.
Withee’s wife told dispatchers that her husband, Withee, had received a report of his cows being loose on Poplar Ridge Road in Cheshire Township around 6 p.m. Monday. She became worried when Withee had not returned home or contacted her. Gallia deputies and troopers from the Gallia-Meigs Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol along with Springfield Township Volunteer Fire Department, Middleport Volunteer Fire Department and Gallia County EMS responded to the scene.
“Emergency responders located Mr. Withee’s vehicle near the property that he owned on Poplar Ridge Road, however an initial search of the area, turned up nothing,” said Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin.
Champlin stated that search crews regrouped and made a secondary sweep in vicinity of the last location that Withee’s cell phone had a signal. Responders located Withee in good health, stuck in a briar patch at approximately 3:50 a.m. that morning.
“This is the best possible outcome we could hope for,” stated Champlin. “Gallia and Meigs County first responders did a great job of working together and with Mr. Withee’s family members to locate him as fast as possible on this chilly night,” said Champlin.
Champlin also stated that Withee was a little “banged up, but the smile on his face when he saw his wife and sons said it all.”