Missing YS-area woman found
- Published: October 23, 2019
Margaret “Peg” Champney, an 87-year-old Miami Township resident who was reported missing Tuesday evening, Oct. 22, was found safe Wednesday morning in the East Hyde Road area near her home just outside Yellow Springs.
Local resident Justin Halker found Champney in a wooded area about 8:30 a.m. and notified authorities, according to Yellow Springs Police Chief Brian Carlson.
A friend and neighbor on the scene Wednesday morning reported that Champney was walking and talking with the responding medics, who transported her to Greene Memorial Hospital.
Champney, who lives in an intentional community known as The Vale, was reported missing about 9 p.m. Tuesday, after family members were unable to locate her at home earlier in the evening, although her car was parked outside.
According to Miami Township Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Altman, Champney was last seen about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and apparently never returned home after her daily walk.
Miami Township Fire-Rescue and Yellow Springs Police, along with family, friends and neighbors, assisted the Greene County Sheriff’s Office in an initial search of the immediate area, according to Altman.
Search dogs from the Beavercreek Police Department, aerial drones from Xenia Police and Fire and a helicopter from the Ohio State Highway Patrol were then brought in as the search for Champney, a long-time and beloved community member, continued past midnight. For safety reasons, search efforts were then suspended about 1:10 a.m., with plans of resuming in daylight.
Altman said that about 50 personnel from multiple area law enforcement and fire-rescue agencies had gathered Wednesday morning to begin searching anew when they got the 911 call reporting Champney had been found in the woods near Funderburg Farm on East Hyde Road, more than half a mile from her home.
Halker, who located Champney and called authorities, reportedly had heard that she was missing and went searching on his own at first light Wednesday morning.
According to Chief Altman, “she was suffering from exposure to the cold and minor injuries from an apparent fall.” MTFR medics assessed and treated her injuries before taking her on to Greene Memorial. Altman reported that Champney was transported “in good condition and spirits.”
He noted that in addition to MTFR, YSPD and Greene County Sheriff personnel, respondents from Greene County Parks, Jamestown Police, the Ohio State Patrol, the Ohio Region 3 Rescue Strike Team, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Fire Department, Washington Township Fire Department, Beavercreek Police and Fire, Xenia Police and Fire, Bethel Township Fire Department, Kettering Fire Department, Greenville Fire Department and Union Fire Department participated in the search.
YS Police Chief Carlson said that Halker will be honored as a Yellow Springs Citizen Hero.