Lost hunter found, jailed on warrant

After a cold night in the woods, a missing hunter was located Thursday by law enforcement as he was walking on a pipeline right-of-way in east Liberty County near the Jefferson County line. However, he was arrested when a check of his identity revealed that he was wanted on a felony warrant for Grand Theft in Florida.

According to Liberty County Sheriff’s Capt. Ken DeFoor, the hunter – Wade Allen McNutt, 30, was lost in the woods after he became separated from his hunting party around 5 a.m. Wednesday. The hunters were scheduled to meet at their camp at 4:30 p.m. but he failed to show up. By 10 p.m., McNutt was still missing, so the sheriff’s office was called to help with the search.

Searchers from the Devers Volunteer Fire Department, Liberty County Game Warden Lauren Iles, a Jefferson County game warden and Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputies, including the use of the Sheriff’s Office Unmanned Aerial Vehicle/drone with a heat-sensing device on-board, combed the woods with no results.

Then at about 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon, McNutt was located on a pipeline right-of-way a few miles north of the hunting camp. He was in good physical condition despite his overnight stay in the woods.

McNutt is in the Liberty County Jail on the grand theft charge out of Florida and is being held for those authorities. The investigation is continuing in order to determine if any additional charges will be filed, DeFoor said.

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