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ALIVE: Missing man in gumboots who went hunting near Orange

January 29, 2022

By Peter Holmes

UPDATED: 5:52pm, January 29, 2022.

A 66-year-old man whose disappearance near Orange on Friday sparked a search by multiple emergency agencies has been found alive.

About 8pm on Friday January 28 emergency services were called to Lower Lewis Ponds Road, Lower Lewis Ponds – about 30km east of Orange – following reports a man had gone missing from a rural property.

Police were told Howard Diaz – aged 66 – had gone hunting in the area alone and failed to meet his friends as planned later in the day.

Officers attached to Central West Police District commenced a coordinated multi-agency search of the area, with assistance from specialist police attached to PolAir and the Dog Unit.

Police were also being assisted by the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) and NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS).

Diaz was described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 170cm tall with grey hair.

He was believed to be wearing camouflage patterned clothing, a hat and gumboots.

The Orange News Examiner spoke with Rob Stevens from Orange SES shortly after the man was found.

"He is safe and well," said Stevens. "This is a really good result."

It is believed the man was found south of Ophir Reserve on a private property.

Stevens said that had the man not been found today additional resources would have been brought in from the Blue Mountains and Wollongong on Sunday.

"We can stand them down before they get going."

Diaz's condition was being assessed at the scene and, if necessary, he would be taken to Orange hospital.


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