Local News

Missing Fayetteville man, 86, found alive in swamp

Posted August 22, 2011
Updated August 23, 2011

— An 86-year-old Fayetteville man who was reported missing Sunday evening was found alive in a swampy area near his home, authorities said Monday.

Family members said that Troy Alphie Cashwell, who has a medical condition that causes him to become lost and confused, went missing around 11 a.m. Sunday from his home at 985 Cashwell Road.

Faye Wrench, Cashwell's daughter, said her father often walks around the neighborhood, where many of their family members live, but never wanders far from home. So when there was still no sign of Cashwell by 7 p.m., the family called authorities.

Cashwell was dehydrated and disoriented when he was found by a county rescue squad around 4:30 p.m. Monday, authorities said, so he was taken to Cape Fear Valley Hospital to be checked out. 

Wrench said her father had used a stick to try to crawl out of the mud, but he remained stuck.

"My dad is a pretty strong-willed person, and you know, he doesn't give up easy," she said. 

Swamp Fayetteville man, 86, survives stormy night in swamp

Severe thunderstorms brought heavy rainfall and frequent lightning to Cumberland County Sunday night, upping concern for Cashwell's wellbeing. When Wrench got the news that he had been found, she cried with relief. 

"I was so happy and thankful," Wrench said.

Doctors told Wrench that Cashwell should be able to return home from the hospital by the end of Monday night, she said.

The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons issued a Silver Alert for Cashwell early Monday morning.

Developed in 2007, Silver Alert is a system to quickly notify the public about missing endangered adults who suffer from dementia or other cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer's disease.

It also allows caregivers and nursing homes to report a person missing. In the past, only a family member could report an adult missing.


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  • kjcashwell Aug 24, 2011

    Some of you people have no idea what went on during the time before and during the search for Mr. Cashwell. You also have some nerve to make the comments that you did. It is none of your business and surely does not concern you.

  • americangirl Aug 23, 2011

    yay!! so happy he is okay! Needed to hear some good news.

  • shales486 Aug 23, 2011

    Really?!?! You know these people well enough to comment on how well they look after their own based on a story that doesn't give any of these details? Tell you what, let's just be thankful that the story didn't end in tragidy as does most of these stories. A big "thank you" to the volunteers and emergency workers.

  • LovemyPirates Aug 23, 2011

    They already paid for these services - it's called taxes.

  • LovemyPirates Aug 23, 2011

    Thank you for a good/happy story.

  • anne53ozzy Aug 23, 2011

    I know everyone is not a dog person but I believe every older person should have a dog companion. So often these heralds of love will protect and alert for owners.

  • anne53ozzy Aug 23, 2011

    I know I too would have been out in H or high water. Maybe the police were out and told them to stay home.

  • 2alegal Aug 23, 2011

    I'm glad he was found alive and well. I wonder, was his family out searching for him too? The story makes it seem like they were all at home in a nice cool dry house waiting......If this had been my grandparents, I would have been looking ALL NIGHT and then some.

  • autismawareness Aug 23, 2011

    good thing he didn't watch his daughter (when she was a child)with the same negligence she shows.

  • pulstar40 Aug 23, 2011

    I'm so glad he was found okay. Sounds that he had at least the presence of mind to know that he needed to get out. It is so difficult to care for a loved one when they start to become confused and disoriented, but yet other times are just fine. Very stressful. Glad to hear this had a happy ending.