Hampton County man released from custody

Benjamin Cook (Source: Hampton Co. Sheriff's Office)
Benjamin Cook (Source: Hampton Co. Sheriff's Office)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A Varnville, S.C., man who went missing this week and was found two days later was released from custody Thursday from the Hampton County Sheriff's Office, according to Sheriff T.C. Smalls.

The sheriff's office said Benjamin Cook, 51, will be transported to a mental facility for evaluation.

At 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, deputies found Cook alive in his yard and he was not combative when they found him, according to the Hampton County Sheriff's Office. Cook was reported missing on Monday. He was checked out by EMS and released to authorities.

Cook told deputies he had been hiding in the woods for two days behind Harry's Stop and Shop, which is about a mile from his home.

Smalls said the sheriff's office got tips that Cook had been spotted at local stores at night, which prompted an operation to be set up for Wednesday night to try to  apprehend him.

Smalls said that Cook has had other occasions in which he has dealt with the sheriff's office, including family issues and traffic violations. He has a history of mental illness, according to the sheriff's office.

It isn't yet known why Cook hid in the woods.

Cook didn't appear to have any injuries, so they don't know yet where the blood in his house came from. Authorities said it is human and it's being processed to determine if it is Cook's.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.