Shortly before 11 p.m. Monday Hawkins County Central Dispatch received a call from the Webster Valley community south of Rogersville reporting that a Sullivan County man who has a history of frog gigging in that area was missing.
The person who called 911 saw the man’s car parked on family property, and then thought he heard someone calling for help.
Hawkins County Emergency Management Agency director Gary Murrell said rescuers from the Persia, Lakeview and Striggersville volunteer fire department responded to the search in Webster Valley, along with the Hawkins County Rescue Squad, Hawkins County EMS and the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office.
“He (the caller) found his (the frog gigger’s) vehicle sitting on some family property there last night, and everybody assumed the worst,” Murrell said. “We called in some dogs from other counties and had 30 or 40 people out there looking for him. Then somebody thought to ‘ping’ his cell phone and we found out he wasn’t even in our county.”
Murrell said the man was located in Greene County. He had dropped off his vehicle on family property in Webster Valley, and was picked up by a friend.
“He’s not married, but supposedly the person he was with could have been,” Murrell added. “Everything the Rescue Squad has was there. We had three fire departments there, and dogs en route from Sullivan County and Greene County.”
Murrell added, “I didn’t talk to the man, but I was standing close when they found out where he was at, and I was one of the ones who said, ‘OK let’s go home. Let’s get everybody back home in bed’.”
After the search had been called off the 911 caller admitted what was mistaken as a call for help could have been coyotes yelping.