The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Missing Hurley man walks out of woods


July 5, 2018

HURLEY — Gogebic Range residents had an additional reason to celebrate the Fourth of July when the search for a missing Hurley man ended successfully around 10:12 a.m. Tuesday.

Rich Tilton was found alive and relatively well near the Oma Town Hall on U.S. 51 after spending three nights in the woods.

Relatives posted on Facebook that Tilton, 63, who had been missing since around 8 p.m. Saturday, had been found.

Iron County Sheriff Tony Furyk said Tilton was able to make his way out of the woods and was walking along a rail grade north of County G when he was brought to the town hall by all-terrain vehicle riders.

“This is fantastic,” said sheriff’s department Lt. Paul Samardich on Tuesday afternoon. He said Tilton had taken his dog for a ride to avoid the Saturday night fireworks over Lake Michele, along Rangeview Drive.

Lost for parts of four hot, sometimes stormy days, Tilton reportedly used some remote camps for shelter and water, somehow ending up shoeless and swimming across a stream at one point.

Tilton’s 2002 white Toyota Forerunner and dog were found on Monday, as an area south of Hurley was being extensively searched with canine units and planes.

The vehicle had become stuck in mud while he was checking out food plots along a back road and Tilton became lost in the dark. He was about three miles from the vehicle when he walked out of the woods.

Samardich said the search was reaching a critical point when Tilton walked out of the woods.

The extensive search of the rural roads and woods of Iron County was conducted by the sheriff’s department, Hurley Police Department and numerous family and friends.The ICSD was assisted by the Gogebic County Sheriff’s Department, which was able to deploy a drone for the specific search area.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources searched on the ground and in the air.

The Wisconsin State Patrol and Civil Air Patrol also assisted, with the Oma Fire Department contributing with personnel and equipment.

Tilton was being evaluated at a clinic later Tuesday, according to reports.


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