Missing East Texas Senior Man Reunited With Family - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/5/07-Wood County

Missing East Texas Senior Man Reunited With Family

Wednesday night KLTV 7 told you about Raymond Hanson, 80 of Mineola who is diabetic.  Yesterday afternoon, Hanson went missing after he was supposed to go to a friend's house for the 4th of July.  Fourteen hours later, a police officer found Hanson and his car in a ditch just outside Houston.  Thursday, he was reunited with his family, safe and sound.  

Tired and a little sore Hanson stepped out of his daughter's truck Thursday afternoon, happy to be home.  What was supposed to be just a few minute car ride to a friend's house Wednesday, turned into 14 hours for Hanson.

"His friend called and invited him over for lunch," said Hanson's Granddaughter Tonya Slayton.  "He said he was on his way, and they waited for a couple of hours and he didn't show up."  That's when Hanson's family called the Wood County Sheriff's Department and immediately the search began.

"They just got right on it," said Slayton.  "ETMC sent a helicopter and searched, and we were searching and made a couple of calls to the church, and immediately I can't tell you how many people went looking for him."  It wasn't until 4:00 a.m. Thursday morning when Hanson's family learned a police officer had found Hanson and his car near Houston.

"As scared as we were looking for him, he was very scared," said Slayton.  "He finally got out of his car and sat down on the side of the road and hoped someone would see him at 3:30 in the morning."  How he ended up in Houston, Hanson's family says they may never know.  Hanson says he took a wrong turn, something he had never done before.  Right now, all that matters is that Hanson is home safe.

"Anything could have happened to him," said Hanson's Daughter Donna Hanson.  "God was with him and he knows that because we talked about it."

"It really really was a happy ending, and it went really well," said Slayton.  Thanks to the love and support, the family says from the entire community. 

Molly Reuter, Reporting. mreuter@kltv.com


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