70-year-old Mississippi hunter lost in national forest rescued

Published 6:02 am Sunday, December 3, 2023

A Mississippi man who went hunting in the Homochitto National Forest Saturday morning and got lost while trying to make his way out of the forest is at home safe and sound ten hours later, thanks to the work of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and Game Wardens from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said William Rizzuto, 70, at about 1 p.m., realized he got turned around and made his way to a power pole and stayed there.

“He sat by the power line from about 1 until about 4 p.m.,” Patten said. “He was finally able to catch a bar on his cell phone and called his wife to tell her he was OK and was going to make his way out.”

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However, when he had not made it home by 7 p.m., his wife told a neighbor, who called 9-1-1.

Adams County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched and were joined by the game wardens, who used ATVs and four-wheelers to locate Rizzuto.

“The game wardens were the ones who actually located him,” Patten said. “There were multiple game wardens and deputies on the scene. The sheriff’s office would like to thank them for their assistance.”

The sheriff said Rizzuto seems to be in good health but was exhausted from being in the woods since 9 a.m. He said Game Warden Aaron Wesley said they used the power lines as reference to track Rizzuto, as well as calling out to him.

“As Adams County Supervisor Ricky Gray says, ‘Teamwork makes the dream work,’ Patten said.