An 84-year-old Sonoma Valley man who was reported missing after he failed to return from his afternoon walk on Tuesday was found by a rancher this morning.
John Blayney was found alive but unresponsive in the rancher’s vineyard around 10:40 a.m. in the middle of a dirt road near the end of Felder Road in Sonoma, Sonoma County sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Hoener said. He was taken to Sonoma Valley Hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening, and was reunited with his family, Hoener said.
Blayney has mild Alzheimer’s disease, according to the sheriff’s office. He left his home in the 3300 block of White Alder west of Sonoma around 2 p.m. Tuesday and had last been seen at 3 p.m. His family reported him missing at 5 p.m., sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Thompson said. The spot where he was located is about two miles south of his home.
“We’re pretty sure he didn’t walk in a straight line. It was a very long walk,” Hoener said.
Blayney was missing his hat and one of his shoes when he was found.
Hoener said Blayney’s family said he typically takes an hour-long walk and likes to stay on pavement.
“We don’t know why he diverted,” Hoener said.
He said the relatively warm weather and full moon overnight likely contributed to today’s happy ending.
Search-and-rescue teams from Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Solano and Contra Costa counties searched Tuesday night and this morning.
They were joined by the Sonoma Police Department, the Sebastopol Police Department Explorer Post, the California Rescue Dog Association, California Explorer Search and Rescue and neighborhood volunteers, Hoener said.
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