Missing Teenager Found After Three Day Search
WATER VALLEY – A three-day search for a missing teenager ended Monday afternoon after a concerned citizen spotted him in Lafayette County almost seven miles from his home.
Dylan Driggers, 17, was reported missing from his residence on County Road 121 by his parents around 10 p.m. Saturday night, sparking an intense search that included dozens of first responders and law enforcement as well as a helicopter from the Mississippi Air National Guard.
Sheriff Lance Humphreys reported it was a plea for the public’s help to locate Driggers that ultimately paid off.
“He was picked up at the intersection of County Road 422 and Hwy. 9 in Lafayette County,” the sheriff reported. “The lady knew him and knew that we had been looking for him. She did a great job handling the situation because he likely would have evaded authorities to keep from being found.”
It wasn’t the first time that Driggers, who has Aspergers Syndrome, has left his home on foot. In 2017, volunteers and law enforcement searched for almost 24 hours before the teenager was found by a Lafayette County deputy after spending a cold, rainy night in the woods.
This time the weather was warmer, but Humphreys said concern was mounting after the teenager had been gone for almost 72 hours.
“We had a lot of folks out there helping look for him, our county has dedicated volunteer firemen who will drop what they are doing to help in any situation,” the sheriff added. The help included volunteers from O’Tuckolofa Fire Department, Pine Valley Fire Department and Velma Fire Department along with county EMA Director Frank Hyde and deputies. The sheriff reported many of the volunteers stayed out until 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning searching. The search resumed mid-morning Sunday and continued Monday.
The Mississippi Air National Guard helicopter had been flying in the vicinity for about 30 minutes when the dispatcher received multiple calls that Driggers had been spotted getting into a vehicle in Lafayette County.
Humphreys said the teenager was in good spirits and was initially taken to the sheriff’s department to allow the Department of Human Services to interview him before he was released to his parents.