|On April 20, 2017 at approximately 10:45 AM, Search and Rescue Teams successfully located Donald C. Pierson safe and sound still inside Bays Mountain Park. He had apparently become disoriented while walking back to his car the previous evening and had wandered a significant distance in the opposite direction.
He spent the night in the woods, but by daybreak had managed to find his way back to the general area of the animal habitat. He reported having seen the helicopter and flashlights of the search party during the night, but they were just out of reach.
He is very much alive and appears to be well; however, he is in the process of being medically evaluated on scene. Due to his age and medical history, he will most likely be transported to an area medical facility purely as a precautionary measure.
As previously released:
Search and Rescue Teams from the Kingsport Police Department, Kingsport Fire Department, Sullivan County E.M.S., and the Kingsport Life Saving Crew, with aerial support from a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter, continued to search the area in and around Bays Mountain Park well into the late night and following early morning hours for missing and possibly endangered 67 year old diabetic, Donald C. Pierson, to no avail.
Search parties will reconvene at 9:00 AM Thursday morning to resume the search. While investigators are currently operating on the primary supposition that Mr. Pierson is still inside the park, they have absolutely not ruled out the possibility that he was somehow able to secure a ride outside the park.
Mr. Pierson has been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database as a missing and possibly endangered person. Information regarding his disappearance is being heavily circulated to the general public via traditional (television, newspaper, and radio) media outlets as well as multiple social media applications.
Any tips or possible sightings should continue to be immediately reported to Kingsport Central Dispatch by calling 423-246-9111.
Additional information will be released if and when it becomes available.
As previously released:
On April 19, 2017 at approximately 7:40 PM, Donald C. Pierson was visiting Bays Mountain Park, located at 853 Bays Mountain Park Road in Kingsport. He was visiting the animal habitat with the rest of his party, but left to walk back to the car alone. When the rest of his party returned to the car, Mr. Pierson was nowhere to be found and has not been seen or heard from since.
Kingsport Police personnel are currently in the process of searching for him in and around the Bays Mountain Park area. It is also entirely possible that someone may have picked him up and given him a ride out of the park.
Mr. Pierson is a 67 year old white male adult with diabetes. He is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 250 pounds. He was last seen wearing jeans, a dark colored t-shirt, a blue ball cap, and brown shoes. His photograph is included with this release.
Anyone who sees him or knows his current whereabouts is asked to immediately contact the Kingsport Police Department at 423-246-9111.
Alternatively, if an individual who is able to supply information related to this or any other case wishes not to be identified, tips can be submitted anonymously via online “Citizen Feedback” forms available at the following link: