PETERSBURG, Ill. — They knew he couldn’t have gotten far.
It had been a little under 18 hours since Floyd Jurgens went missing from his home two hours outside of Petersburg.
Search officials believed Jurgens, who is diabetic and also has Alzheimer’s, had to be lost in one of the many farm plots surrounding his home.
We searched just so much of this area we didn’t think he could get any further away,” Dale Dobbe, Jurgen’s nephew, said. “We had to think somebody had given him a ride out of here. He just vanished.”
Rescue teams spent almost a full day looking for Jurgens.
They combed through corn fields, looking for any sign of him.
State police had a plane flying over the farm looking.
Over 150 community volunteers joined in the search.
I wouldn’t even begin to attempt to count the people that showed up with drones, foot traffic, UTVs, four wheelers,” Menard chief deputy Ben Hollis said. “Just anything they can do to help. That’s the great thing about living in a small community. People will rise to the occasion.”
The Menard County Sheriff’s office sent the volunteers home when it got too dark Wednesday Night.
The local law enforcement stayed all night.
The search opened up to volunteers again early Thursday.
Finally, just before 8:30 Thursday morning, they spotted him.
“Mr. Jurgens was located, i don’t have an exact measurement, but i would say several hundred yards from his residence in a bean field, lying flat on the ground,” Hollis said.
Officials were worried about what kind of condition they would find Jurgens in when they made the final trip into the field.
But it did not take long before their worries turned into relief.
“I didn’t know he was alive until i got there on the ATV,” Ken Yocom, command staff member, said. “Then the first words out of his mouth were, ‘What are you guys doing here?'”
Jurgens and his family have lived on the farmland 2 miles outside of petersburg for over 40 years.
His son and his nephew both work on the farm.
“It’s just such a relief,” Dobbe said. “It’s hard to believe. All of our prayers were answered.”