LITTLE ORLEANS, Md. (WJZ) –A 75-year-old Wisconsin man missing nearly two weeks has been found in Western Maryland.
Alex DeMetrick reports despite the efforts of a large search, he was found too late to save.
Natural Resources Police put together a team of 50 searchers Sunday afternoon after an abandoned car was found. By Monday morning they had found James Wilson, 75, in the mountains of Allegany County.
“His body was located about three-quarters of a mile away from his disabled vehicle in a heavily wooded ravine,” said Sgt. Art Windemuth, Natural Resources Police.
The mystery is why James Wilson entered these woods, after last being seen at a Western Maryland gas station Nov. 12.
Wilson left his home in Wisconsin on Nov. 11, driving to a destination in Delaware. For some reason, he left the interstate for this small mountain road.
He followed it deep into Green Ridge State Forest, and then drove off the road.
“The vehicle had become stuck. It could’ve been sitting there for days,” Windemuth said.
A stream downhill from his car may have drawn Wilson into the ravine.
“Residences have been built around waterways,” Windemuth said. “He was trying to walk out. He followed it downstream, downhill and succumbed to the elements.”
At this point police believe the man died from exposure because his clothes were wet, and the overnight temperature in the mountains is low.
An autopsy will confirm the cause of death, but not the reason why Wilson decided to take this road.
Police in Wisconsin issued a missing persons bulletin. Police in Maryland learned of it after entering James Wilson’s registration into a nationwide database.