GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) – A missing elderly man’s family in Logan County is breathing a huge sigh of relief!

On Wednesday morning, relatives of 84-year-old Franklin Short found him alive. He survived nearly two days outdoors in the rain and wind. 

Franklin Short
Franklin Short. Image courtesy Stacey Rider.

‘Frank’ was found on Wednesday morning in the woods very close to where he was last seen. The family said he was found about a football field away from his home.

It made it very hard to find him because he was wearing camo from head to toe. Thankfully, his daughter came to the rescue.

“I came home, and he wasn’t anywhere. I couldn’t find him,” said Tamara Smith, Frank’s daughter who found him.  

Frank was last seen at his home Monday afternoon. Search and rescue teams worked together and looked around the property for signs of Frank, but they had no luck.

“The drone that was used during the search operation does have thermal capabilities, which helps in the evening times when we’re lacking sunlight. So, that was used, and nothing came up,” said Troy Dykes, Undersheriff at Logan County Sheriff’s Office. 

Frank’s daughter, Tamara Smith, said she continued to search, along with family members and neighbors nearby. 

On Wednesday morning, she stumbled along a bush not far from Frank’s property. That’s where she found her father lying under bushes.

“The dog was barking across the road and I wasn’t sure if he was barking at me or something else. And I went over onto the road and he came out of the woods and he was barking at me. And I tried to get him to leave me alone. And then I went in the woods and then I found him,” said Smith. 

First responders were called, and it took time to get him out. But how this all happened remains a mystery because Frank is diagnosed with dementia, so his memory of what happened isn’t clear.  

“Due to his medical conditions, he doesn’t remember what all happened the day or two previous… At this time, it was not indicated that any foul play other than just a missing person,” said Dykes.  

When a family member mentioned they’d been worried about him, he responded, “What for?” 

“He’s just been going downhill quite a bit here lately… He didn’t really say any words, just noises. He’s pretty bad off. But they said he was in good condition when they picked him up. His blood pressure was a little high. But other than that, he was very good,” said Smith.  

The sheriff’s office says they did check that area but believe they didn’t find him because he may have been walking in a different place at the time they searched there.

“We don’t know if he was walking in areas elsewhere while we were searching other areas and then as maybe the search moved to a different location, he could have moved. And we just don’t know those things. And unfortunately, he doesn’t remember those things either,” said Dykes.  

Frank’s family is just happy to be reunited with the man they say is the glue who holds everyone together. 

“I was very happy, glad that he was alive. Hard to believe because I wasn’t sure if he would be found,” said Smith.

Officials said Frank was hungry and dehydrated. Right now, he is in the hospital and they plan to keep him there overnight.  

Fortunately, there were no injuries. 

Officials said it’s been hard to investigate what happened because he does not remember anything. They do not expect foul play.