Forks man found safe on riverbank

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — A 53-year-old Forks man suffering from dementia was found safe on the bank of the Calawah River not far from his home Friday, a day after he was reported missing.

Mark Erwin Aanderud was found at about 9 a.m. on the riverbank by Forks police, Clallam County Fire District No. 1 crews and other emergency personnel, Fire District No. 1 Chief Bill Paul confirmed Saturday.

Police said Aanderud, who has dementia and is diabetic, wandered away from his home along Robin Hood Loop in Forks at about 9 a.m. Thursday.

Police Sgt. Michael Rowley said officers, Clallam County search and rescue, county sheriff’s deputies and private citizens searched through surrounding wooded areas and fields Thursday until night fell.

Boater spotted him

On Friday morning, a boater along the Calawah River called 9-1-1 to report a man on the bank who appeared to be in distress, Rowley said.

Rowley, police and search teams from the Sheriff’s Office, Fire District No. 1, county search and rescue, the Coast Guard and the Clallam Bay Corrections Center found Aanderud on the river bank.

The bank was about three-fourths of a mile from Aanderud’s home, Rowley added.

Crews helped Aanderud walk up from the bank and took him to Forks Community Hospital as a precaution, Rowley said, because his blood sugar level needed to be stabilized and he appeared to have a case of mild hypothermia.

Rowley said Aanderud told rescue personnel he had become lost while out on a walk in a wooded area near his home and decided to sit on the riverbank and wait for someone to come by.

Aanderud frequents the wooded trails near his home with his mother, Rowley added.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 01. 2014 5:27PM
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