82-year-old man missing for 3 days rescued by grandson in Montrose County

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MONTROSE COUNTY, Colo. — An 82-year-old man who was missing for three days has been rescued in Montrose County.

Robert McLeroy’s grandson, Ethan Archer, found him while searching along the San Miguel River near Highway 141.

McLeroy had not been seen since Monday, when he left his hometown of Nucla for Grand Junction.

“The biggest thing was just narrowing down a place to look for him. We weren’t able to get any location off of his phone or anything like that. So we really didn’t know where he was exactly,” said Montrose County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Travis Thompson.

Investigators were focused along a 70-mile stretch of Highway 141.

“There’s just some tremendous drops in certain places where we’ve had many car crashes in the past. There’s a lot of places where you can’t even see a car go off unless you get off a car and look over the edge,” Thompson said.

Massive teams searching on the ground and from the air had found nothing.

Archer, 22, found his grandfather when he was searching along the river in a kayak. He discovered his grandfather had indeed crashed, but the wreck was not visible from the road.

McLeroy was conscious. He was taken to a Grand Junction hospital for treatment. He is in serious condition.

Archer described his grandfather as a strong man. He also stressed that multiple organizations helped in the search and was grateful to all who helped.

A full statement from Archer is below:

“I was out of town for work when my grandfather went missing and was only able to return in time for this morning’s effort.  Multiple state and county organizations, and hundreds of volunteers had contributed to the search at that point; and the lack of results left us all perplexed and fearing the worst.  Searching from the river was one of the few possibilities that had not been pursued as of this morning, and thankfully it proved successful.  The wreck was practically invisible from above due to the thick foliage and steep embankment, but was easily seen from below.  My father and I were surprised to find Bob alive and conscious when we reached him.  The other elements of the search party arrived soon after to help extricate him from the scene.  Grandad is a strong man and is doing well given the circumstance, but it will be a long road to recovery nonetheless.  We are incredibly thankful for all those who contributed to the search effort and grateful to God for the many blessings He has provided us today.”

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