Tragic end to search

Myrtleford Times - - News - BY JUSTIN JENVEY jjen­vey@ne­me­dia.com.au

THE body of an el­derly Bright man who failed to re­turn from his morn­ing walk last Tues­day was lo­cated on Wed­nes­day, less than a kilo­me­tre from his home.

Thomas ‘Alec’ Thomp­son suf­fered from de­men­tia but reg­u­larly went on walks in the bush near his Iarias Lane home.

He was re­ported miss­ing at about 10.30am on Au­gust 28 af­ter last be­ing seen at 9.15am that day, head­ing up Iarias Lane in his py­ja­mas.

His body was found at 10am the next day with ex­po­sure to freez­ing overnight tem­per­a­tures the likely cause of his death.

Emer­gency ser­vices be­gan search­ing the area around Iarias Lane at about mid­day last Tues­day be­fore sus­pend­ing the search at dark and re­sum­ing the next morn­ing.

Lo­cal po­lice and mem­bers of Bush Search and Res­cue, SES and Am­bu­lance Vic­to­ria per­formed line search­ing and door knocked nearby prop­er­ties.

The Vic­to­ria Po­lice Air Wing was also used on both days while mem­bers of the pub­lic as­sisted too.

Al­most 24 hours af­ter be­ing re­ported miss­ing, Mr Thomp­son’s body was found.

Se­nior Sergeant Doug In­coll of Bright po­lice said the dis­cov­ery of Mr Thomp­son’s boots in a dry creek bed about 500 me­tres east of his home led crews to his body.

“One of the be­hav­iours of peo­ple with de­men­tia is they’ll walk un­til they’re ex­hausted or un­til they meet a bar­rier and when they can’t go any­more they’ll just sit down,” he said.

“It got down to mi­nus four that night, so it ap­pears that a com­bi­na­tion of the ex­treme cold and his ill­ness has con­tributed to his pass­ing.

“It was an un­for­tu­nate end and a loss to the com­mu­nity of Bright un­der tragic cir­cum­stances.”

Mr Thomp­son had been an ac­tive mem­ber of the Bright com­mu­nity since mov­ing to the town to re­tire from farm­ing nearly 20 years ago.

He was a val­ued mem­ber of the Lions Club of Bright where he was a pre­vi­ous win­ner of the Melvin Jones Fel­low­ship, as well as be­ing in­volved in the lo­cal cro­quet club, the Angli­can Church and more.

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