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West Virginia State Police use helicopter to rescue missing man

Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 9:37 AM EDT
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UPDATE 6/24/20 @ 6:36 p.m.

Benjamin Browning says he headed out from his home in Mingo County to make a delivery Monday but never made it there.

“I followed Siri got lost and dropped over a mountain that I could not get back up and once you get down you can’t get back up you got to just keep going then I got stuck,” said Browning.

Stranded in the woods near the Quick area for more than two days, Browning says he could not help but feel helpless.

“[I did] nothing just hollering and seeing if anyone could hear me,” said Browning.

James Browning said when he found out his brother Benjamin Browning was missing, he drove straight there from Tennessee.

He said Benjamin is a diabetic and was worried what might happen if sugar levels in his body would get too low. James Browning said he was

also concerned about how treacherous Appalachian woods can be.

“[It’s] sort of a helpless feeling one point I actually broke down and cried,” said James.

State police searched for Benjamin Browning by a few cellphone pings and messages he was able to get out through spotty service. Wednesday afternoon they were able to track him down while searching from a helicopter.

When state police found Benjamin, he was unhurt but hungry and dehydrated.

“I Found some mud-holes to drink a little bit of water out of,” said Benjamin.

Benjamin said he is just thankful the encounter is over and grateful to be reunited with family.

“I put everybody out there looking for me because of something I should not have done to begin with,” said Benjamin.

But James said he will always come if someone in his family needs help.

“I hugged him absolutely,” said James. “ Stick together love each other no matter what, praise god for every moment that we have especially moments like this.”

UPDATE 6/24/20 @ 2:30 p.m.

A man who was reported missing and in need of medical attention Tuesday evening has been found.

According to West Virginia State Police, Benjamin Browning, 58, of Mingo County was found near his truck in a creek off of Quick Road near Blue Creek Mine which is near Sanderson.

Browning spoke with our reporter at the scene. Browning says he was in the area to deliver something for work, when his map directions took him the wrong way and he ended up getting his truck stuck in the creek.

Investigators say Browning is diabetic and went two nights without medicine or food.

According to WVSP they found him while out on the helicopter. They picked him up and took him to at the state hanger where he was checked out by medics. Then he was driven by troopers to be reunited with his family.

Browning was last heard from Tuesday around 11 p.m. when he called his daughter asking for help. He was unable to give her his location.

Browning refused to go to the hospital. He is now headed home.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

UPDATE 6/24/20 @ 10:58 a.m.

West Virginia State Police have been searching the Clendenin area for a missing man Wednesday.

According to Metro 911 dispatchers, Benjamin Browning, 58, was last seen in the Elkview area.

Investigators say Browning has health problems, but they do not believe he has been in danger.

Troopers say they’ve been using helicopters to help with the search. They’re also using cellphone pings to help locate Browning. They say he contacted his employer to say his truck got stuck on a property.

Browning was last seen driving a white Ford F-150 with Missouri tags 3TD-853. Officials say his truck has lettering on the side for Marmic Fire and Safety.

According to the Oceana Fire Department, Browning called his daughter Tuesday night around 11 asking for help, in need of medical attention. He didn’t know his location.

Investigators say he is diabetic and has went two nights without medicine or food.

The Oceana Fire Department says Browning told his family he was around Blue Creek Mountain and could hear fans like they were coming from a coal mining site.

Officials say the family searched Robinson Point near Clendenin but was not able to find him.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.

ORIGINAL STORY 6/24/20 @ 9:37 a.m.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia State Police are searching for a missing man Wednesday.

According to Metro 911 dispatchers, Benjamin Browning, 58, was last seen in the Elkview area.

Investigators say Browning has health problems.

Browning was last seen driving a white Ford F-150 with Missouri tags 3TD-853. Officials say his truck has lettering on the side for Marmic Fire and Safety.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.

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