DATE: Sunday, January 26, 2014
SUBJECT: Silver Alert Cancelled: Subject found deceased
RELEASE NUMBER: 2014-NR-011
CONTACT: Sheriff Eric Williams
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Eric Williams
Yesterday afternoon, a Silver Alert was issued for a Ronald Hayes, who had been missing for nearly 24 hours at the time.
Earlier today, deputies with the assistance of the Indiana State Police and the Indiana State Police airplane observed a car matching the description of the car Hayes was believed to have been operating when he was last seen. The car was found in a remote part of the Knight Township river bottoms in a place that was not readily observable from any nearby roads. With the assistance from the Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers, deputies determined that the car was the car Hayes had been operating. Hayes was not in the car.
With the assistance of Ohio Valley Search and Rescue and an area farmer (also a former Knight Township Firefighter), Hayes was located in an open field. Hayes was deceased at the time he was located. He was positively identified. There were no apparent indications of foul play. The body was turned over to the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office.
Investigators believe that on the evening of Friday, January 24, Hayes became disoriented after picking up dinner and drove in the area of the Knight Township river bottoms. At the time he drove into the area, the ground was substantially more solid from the below freezing temperatures and he was able to drive well off the roadway. However, he eventually became stuck near a tree line and a depression in the ground. With the ground more solid at the time, he was able to walk over two miles before succumbing in an open field.
Due to the warmer temperatures yesterday and today, the area had become very soft and wet and very difficult to traverse. It was with the help of an area farmer and some of his large equipment that we were able to recover Hayes vehicle from the area as well as some of the equipment utilized by emergency responders.
Details regarding Hayes’ cause of death will be released by the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office when available.
Ronald Hayes, 77 YOA, W/M, Evansville IN