Orangeburg County sheriff praises community after missing man found

Orangeburg County sheriff praises community after missing man found
Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell says Donnie Ford was found early Monday morning. (Source: Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office)

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A Barnwell man who disappeared in Orangeburg County has been found and is being checked out for any injuries, the sheriff says.

Donnie Ford, 66, was reported missing late Friday after he was said to have walked away from the Regional Medical Center.

Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said Monday that Ford had been found after a community effort to find him.

“I wish the entire county, even the country, could have seen how Orangeburg County came together in finding this man,”Ravenell said. “My deputies and I work for the best people and the best community that anyone could ever ask for.”

Ravenell said Ford was found at approximately 6 a.m. Monday when a citizen in the Jamison community spotted him coming out of a wooded area and held him until authorities could arrive. He was then taken to be checked over medically for any injuries he may received during his two-and-a-half day disappearance.

Ravenell said Orangeburg County Sheriff’s deputies stayed on the search through the entire ordeal. But more joined in.

"We had the Jamison Fire Department out there, private citizens loaning us four wheelers, businessman Joe Rich flew his personal helicopter at his own tremendous expense to search for Mr. Ford, SLED was there as well and many others," Ravenell said. "If you could have seen this massive effort, you'd be so proud to be part of Orangeburg County too."

S.C. Rep. Justin Bamberg, who also joined in the search, said he was thankful the OCSO never gave up on behalf of the family and Ford.

“It’s days like today that I am so proud to be just a part of this great county and state,” Ravenell said. “We’re just so thankful Mr Ford has been brought home safely to his family where he belongs.”​

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