Missing man survives by drinking creek water and eating blackberries

A search party found a missing Putnam County man in an Adair County pasture around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. (Photo provided by Missouri State Highway Patrol)

A northeast Missouri man recently reported missing, was found alive and well over the weekend.

After missing for roughly 36 hours, Tom Carman Sr. was found in a pasture along Grapevine Road.

The Putnam County man, in his mid-70's, went missing on Friday.

Carman, who has cancer and Alzheimer's, wandered away from his home on Route O in southeast Putnam County during the early morning hours.

On Saturday, family and friends were able to breathe a sigh of relief after Carman was located sitting in the middle of a pasture in Adair County, a ways off from Highway 149.

His son, Tom Carman Jr., told KTVO over the phone that many were surprised to find him alive due to the combination of his health and the excessive heat that blanketed the Heartland the past few days.

Tom Carman Jr. says his father followed his instincts in order to survive.

"He grew up in the woods. He has hunted, fished, he's logged his whole life. I think a lot of that contributed to it and just the sheer will to survive. He told the first people that were there that he had been drinking creek water and eating blackberries."

When asked if his father knew what was going on during the time he was away from home, Carman Jr. says he had a slight idea.

When he was located, the elder Carman thought he was out bird hunting with buddies, but had gotten separated.

"He knew he had been out. He just didn't know what the circumstances were."

During the time that Carman Sr. was missing, many in the area created search parties in order to help.

"It was amazing. There's no words to describe it. The community came together. We had emergency management there who did an excellent job. They worked with the locals. Everybody seemed to work together. Saturday, we figured there were over 150 people there."

Carman Jr. says he and his family are now in the process of organizing a dinner to thank those that offered their time and support over the weekend.

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