Officials Search for 3 Days; Drone Finds Missing Man After 20 Minutes


Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai

After three fruitless days of extensive searching by authorities, an amateur drone pilot located a missing elderly man in a mere 20 minutes.

On Sunday, David Lesh helped save Guillermo DeVenecia, an 82-year-old man who had gone missing for three days in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, last week. Search and rescue teams had been looking for him for all that time, using helicopters, search dogs, and hundreds of volunteers, according to the WMTV.

Then Lesh, who owns a ski and snowboard outerwear company in Colorado but was in the area on vacation, volunteered to help using his drone — and found DeVenecia in 20 minutes.

“We weren’t really sure what we would find or what kind of shape he would be in if we did find him… I don’t think any of us expected to find him,” Lesh told WMTV, the local NBC affiliate.

Lesh flew the drone across a 200-acre field where the man was believed to be and at a certain point, through the flying robot’s camera, he saw him.

“As we were making the last turn to fly it, we noticed a man out in the field sort of stumbling, looking a little disoriented,” Lesh said.

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