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Missing Beach Park man located unresponsive in ditch by sheriff’s K-9 team

Deputy John Forlenza and K-9 Dax
Deputy John Forlenza and K-9 Dax

For the second time in less than a month, a Lake County Sheriff’s canine team located and saved a person in mental distress.

On Sunday at around 1:40 a.m., Lake County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home in the 10800 block of West Fairbanks Drive in Beach Park for a report of a missing person.

Sheriff’s deputies learned that the missing 41-year old man walked away from his residence wearing only underwear, according to a statement by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. According to family members, the man was in mental distress and intoxicated. The responding sheriff’s deputies requested the assistance of Deputy John Forlenza and police canine Dax to help locate the man.

The canine team arrived on scene and started tracking the scent of the missing man, authorities said. After tracking for around a quarter-mile, police canine Dax located the man in a ditch.

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Sheriff’s officials said that the man was lying face-down in the ditch, covered in mud and heavy brush. He was initially unresponsive but was eventually able to walk to the roadway where an ambulance was waiting. The man was transported to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation, officials said.

“Time and time again our Canine Teams prove to be a valuable asset to the people of Lake County. They’ve located many missing people throughout Lake County, including those in distress and those fleeing crime scenes,” Sheriff Mark Curran said in a statement.

“I am very proud of Deputy Forlenza and his four-legged partner, Dax, for locating and saving the life of a second person in less than a month.”

On August 24, the canine team located a suicidal man near the Fox River in unincorporated Barrington.


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