Authorities suspend search in Savannas Preserve State Park for missing Port St. Lucie man

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. - UPDATE: The Martin County Sheriff's Office has suspended its search for James Young.


Martin County deputies wrapped up a 12-hour search for a missing man with dementia Wednesday night.

Port St. Lucie resident James Young, 61, went missing Monday. His wife reported him missing to Port St. Lucie police.

“They had a brief argument, he took off riding his bicycle. Approximately an hour later, she waited for him to come home. He didn’t come home,” said Port St. Lucie Detective David Butterworth.

On Wednesday morning, Martin County deputies say his bicycle and his shoes were found in the Savannas Preserve State Park.

Deputies, police and Florida Fish and Wildlife searched the preserve using airboats, chopper, K9 and ATVs.

“This man could still be alive. And if he is, he’s probably at the very end because it’s hot out here. He’s been here for two days,” said Martin County Lt. Michael Dougherty.

Police say his bike was found nearly a mile into the preserve area.

“Not on a regular bike path. Actually in that area it’s so dry, it would usually be under water.”

His shoes and socks were found near a watery marsh.

Authorities do not know how long he may have been out there, or if he went into the water.

“For him to be out here in the middle of nowhere, it could be pretty tough,” Dougherty said.

Young’s wife told police that he frequently rode his bike near the preserve area. Her concern is what his state of mind may be.

“Her concern is that back in September, he was diagnosed with dementia. Progressive dementia,” Butterworth said.

Martin County deputies and and other search crews will resume the search for Young Thursday morning at 9.

If you see young, you are urged to call the Martin County Sheriff’s Office at 772-220-7170

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