- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (AP) - An elderly California man who had been reported missing is thanking the Nevada deputies and volunteer search teams that rescued him from the wilderness near Lake Tahoe.

Washoe County crews with search dogs found Ivan Cooper of San Leandro, California Monday afternoon after he’d abandoned his vehicle on a dirt fire road near Incline Village, Nevada.

Deputies started investigating after a 911 call regarding the vehicle about 7:30 a.m. They found evidence someone may have wandered off and eventually found Cooper a half-mile away lying in a bed of pine needles, barefoot, dehydrated and suffering from exposure.

Cooper spent the night in the hospital. But sheriff Chuck Allen says he telephoned Wednesday to express his deepest appreciation to the deputies and volunteers.

Allen says he believes they saved Cooper’s life.

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