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Missing western Kansas man thankful he had warm items

Published On: Feb 10 2014 09:59:10 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 12 2014 06:36:37 PM CST

A missing 66-year-old Kansas man has been found safe in Colorado following a six-county search after the man's SUV got stuck in a field over the weekend.     

"I did get scared, after a time. Yes, I did get scared. And I was nervous," said Clark Nelson. "Fortunately I had plenty of things to keep me warm."

Nelson had dropped his wife off at work and gone to pick up some things for her from Target. On his way home he got lost.

"And I went out of town on a dirt road and ended up in a big field, way out in the middle of nowhere," said Nelson.

He had taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way and now he was out of gas. He didn't show up to get his wife after work.

"I waited and I called him but ... I couldn't reach him," said Presly Nelson. "So I kind of panicked."

Nelson was doing his best to stay warm.

"I was just crouched in the backseat of my vehicle laying on a pillow with all these clothes and a blanket over me," said Nelson, pulling the blanket out of the back of his vehicle where it's still at today.

Eventually, his wife reached him and got him to call 9-1-1. It was that call that helped searchers know where to look. But his phone died and the GPS was turned off, so they could only narrow the search area to six counties in western Kansas and eastern Colorado.

"Oh my gosh, it's the most scariest (sic) time ... of my life," said Presly Nelson about the three days her husband was missing.

Tuesday, searchers finally found Nelson, still in his SUV, in Cheyenne County, Colorado.

"And bunches of vehicles came to my location," said Nelson. "And they gave me some snacks to eat."

He'd spent three days in the cold without food. But he was alive.

"I was very relieved and thankful that they found me," said Nelson, hugging his wife tight to his side.

"Oh my God," laughed Presly Nelson, thinking back to that moment. "I was so happy." Then she added, "and I would like to thank all those people that help him, you know, look for him."

Nelson's wife says she believes he has a medical condition that caused him to lose track of where he was and what he was doing. She says he's agreed not to drive anywhere alone again. 

Lt. Col. Mike Daniels, spokesman for the Colorado Civil Air Patrol, said the man was found Tuesday by a pilot, who was able to direct searchers to the man's location in Cheyenne County, Colorado after he wandered away from his truck. Daniels says the man was hungry and thirsty, but he had no serious injuries. Nelson was treated and released from Keefe Memorial Hospital and was well and in good spirits.

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The Cheyenne County (Colo.) Sheriff’s Office is searching for a missing man who might be in the counties of Kiowa, Cheyenne, or Kit Carson.

Police say 66-year-old Clark Nelson turned off on a dirt road and was stuck in someone's field at 8 p.m. Sunday.  The Garden City man, who was driving a black Chevy Tahoe, called for help to the Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office. His phone was not GPS enabled, it no longer has battery, and he did not know where he was.

There is no way to track the vehicle, police say.

“All we know is that he is possibly in one of the above counties,” the police said in a statement. “Please keep your eyes out for anything that looks out of the ordinary if you are out and help us find this man.”

Anyone with possible information is asked to call the Cheyenne County Sheriff's Office at (719) 767-5633.

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