Elderly Hiker, 76, Who Went Missing on Northern Calif. Trail for Over 24 Hours Found Alive: Police

Joelle Goldstein
Elderly Hiker, 76, Who Went Missing on Northern Calif. Trail for Over 24 Hours Found Alive: Police

An elderly man who disappeared earlier this week while hiking on a Northern California trail has been found, authorities confirmed.

Robert Bennett was reported missing to officials on Monday shortly after he was last spotted walking toward Valley Stone Trail Head around 1:30 p.m., according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Department.

By Monday evening, officers with the Marin County Sheriff’s Department said they were continuing search efforts but had not come across any signs of the 76-year-old.

“Operations meeting for the Big Rock Ridge search for Robert Bennett as we head into the evening hours,” the department wrote. “We anticipate working through the night trying to find Robert. We’ve requested additional searchers and K9 teams to assist in this search.”

Officials also shared more photos of Bennett in hopes that someone might recognize the 76-year-old man and notify the department of his whereabouts.

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Late Tuesday night, the Marin County Sheriff’s Department announced that Bennett had finally been found — thanks to help of their police dogs.

“We’ve located Robert Bennett alive and are working on extracting him with assistance of @sonomasheriff Henry 1,” they wrote. “No update on condition at this time.”

A few hours later, officials said they had transported Bennett to a local hospital, where he was reunited with his family.

“His condition is unknown at this time,” the department noted. “He was located by K9 Luna, with the assistance of K9 Zinka after an extensive search effort this evening. Thank you to all the agencies who assisted.”

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On Thursday, a statement issued to PEOPLE by the Marin County Sheriff’s Office on behalf of the Bennett Family revealed that the hiker likely suffered a medical emergency, which led to his temporary disappearance.

“Robert is currently at a local hospital and being treated in ICU. Doctors believe he suffered a stroke and fall during his hike and the efforts by Search and Rescue are what saved his life,” the family wrote. “Robert has family by his side as we continue to work towards his recovery.”

“The Bennett family would like to thank the community and First Responders for their support during the last few days,” they continued. “We believe that Robert is still alive because of the response efforts from the Marin County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team and all of those involved in the search and rescue operation. The Bennett family has extreme gratitude for this dedicated group of volunteers and their K9 partners Luna and Zinka that found Robert.”