Update: Footprints, loose pooch led police to missing Prescott man


PRESCOTT — Reports of a man missing in dangerous temperatures ended with him being found cold, but alive.
Prescott Police Chief Rob Funk said the man was discovered “a little worse for the wear” during the Tuesday, Dec. 26, incident, though free of serious injuries. The man was later identified as 60-year-old Prescott resident Kim Darke.
Funk said a Prescott police officer followed footprints near St. Joseph’s Cemetery along Monroe Street and eventually found Darke walking out of the woods. The chief said the man made his way back up the rolling terrain when he was found by the officer after a 17-minute search.
Darke had gone out to look for his dog — a trek that took him to the Mississippi River, where Funk said the man fell in up to his waist. He was reported missing by a neighbor who saw his dog return to the neighborhood dragging its collar about two hours after Darke had taken it for a walk.
“Our office recognizes this incident certainly could have ended differently and we are happy that it had a good outcome,” Funk said.
He said Darke had been in the elements for about two hours. Temperatures hovered around zero degrees at the time of the call.
Funk said the man was checked out by EMS crews but didn’t request further medical attention. The man’s dog was also OK, the chief noted.
Prescott firefighters and Pierce County sheriff’s deputies assisted police and River Falls EMS crews. Funk said no emergency workers were injured during the search.