Search for Garland man ongoing

Sampson law enforcement and emergency officials are currently leading a multi-agency search and rescue mission in the Garland area for a missing elderly man.

The search was initiated shortly after 1:15 p.m. Tuesday when the Sampson County E-911 center received a report of a missing person off of Birdy Lane in Garland.

William Earl Powell, 72, of 85 Birdy Lane. Powell, known by most of his neighbors as “Willie,” was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, grey denim pants and brown slip-on loafers. Powell is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs approximately 180 pounds. He has green eyes.

Powell suffers from dementia and has a history of wandering off from his residence, authorities said.

The Sampson County Sheriff’s Office and Sampson County Emergency Management are currently coordinating a search and rescue mission for Powell. The local agencies are being assisted by emergency service crews from Bladen, Pender and Brunswick counties, as well as state emergency resources.

The search area is currently spanning the town of Garland and wooded areas south of Garland.

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