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Lost man rescued in forest

A young man with ‘special needs’ found himself lost in the Homo Chitto National Forest with no way to call for help.

Daryl Patrick Scallions Jr., 21, of Vicksburg was scouting for potential turkey hunting spots in Lincoln County on Tuesday when he was separated from his stepfather, Randy Rippy.

“We went in the woods and the road forked,” Rippy explained. “I went to the left and he went to the right. When I noticed he was gone, I went after him but he had already disappeared.”

Rippy said Scallions suffers from a disability that leaves him unable to speak, making search and rescue efforts especially difficult.

Rippy searched for his stepson for a short time before calling 911.

According to Sheriff Steve Rushing, Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies were first to arrive at the scene located around 4200 Caseyville Road.

Members of a local volunteer fire department, Game and Fish wardens, park rangers as well as an agent for the U.S. Forestry Service based in Meadville arrived shortly after to assist in the search.

Within two hours, Scallions was located walking through a clearing for power lines.

“He was thirsty and starting to get cold, but he didn’t seem frightened,” Rippy said.

Rippy attributed the success of the search to the combined forces that came to his stepson’s rescue.

“All the people who came out to help did a tremendous job,” he said. “We were lucky we found him when we did.”

Despite all the drama, Scallions is eager to continue pursuing his turkey hunting passion.

“He loves to turkey hunt,” Rippy said.