Search Intensifies For Missing Diamondhead Man

DIAMONDHEAD (WLOX) -- "Initially we were searching within a one to two mile area of Mr. Buel's house. We've now expanded that search out three to five miles, and now searching further and further into the wooded area and vacant houses that are here in Diamondhead," said Charles Wise with Gulf Coast Search and Rescue.

Search and rescue teams from Mississippi and Louisiana spent the day scouring parts of Diamondhead for Ward Buel. It's been two weeks since Buel was reported missing. Every moment since then has been agonizing for family and friends of the 86-year-old Diamondhead man.

"It's hard on the families. You're looking for someone you love. Not knowing where they may be or how they disappeared. They're going through a lot of stress also trying to figure out where Mr. Buel is," Wise said.

Dogs and the mounted patrol division helped out in Saturday's search.

"Our mounted division is something new here we developed in 2008. The mounted division helps give more area search. They're able to get into the brush that we're not able to get into as far as individuals walking with our K-9s," Wise said.

Authorities are also asking residents to be on the lookout.

"If you've been out of town, and you haven't checked any vacant cars or your boats that haven't been used since Memorial Day, we're asking for you to please search the area around your house, vacant lots, cars that haven't been used, boats that may have been parked in your yard," Wise said.

Buel once lived in North Mississippi, so authorities believe he may be heading back to that area.

"Anything can happen. We were told that Mr. Buel did have dementia, which at times, that could lead people to become confused. They may not know where they are, what's going on at the time. They may get into a vehicle with somebody and say, hey, I'm from so-and-so, I need to get back home," Buel said.

If you have any information, call the Hancock County Sheriff's Department at (228) 467-5101.