'It's A Miracle': Missing Man Found After Cousin Follows Hunch

| by Sean Kelly

The family of a 70-year-old Avon, New York, resident was relieved to learn that their beloved family member had been found after going missing a week earlier. 

Don Farrell, a former fire chief, prompted a community-wide search when he went missing after going for a stroll. Some firefighters even volunteered their time to aid in the search for one of their own. 

One day, after days of looking for Farrell to no avail, Stephen Linder — the man’s cousin and a local farmer — had a “hunch” that led him far out into one of his fields. Suddenly, Linder began hearing cries for help.

Linder followed the cries and ultimately discovered his cousin. Farrell reportedly fell into a ditch while on a walk and was unable to pull himself out. He survived on rainwater alone for an entire week. 

“We had flown in that area, we had gone down and up the river… But where he was located, unless you walked right up on top of him, you probably would not have seen him by air or boat,” police Chief Gary Benedict said. 

Linder said he was shocked to find his cousin alive after so much time.

“It was luck that's what it was,” he said. “I never expected to find him alive after a week, I said, I've been looking for you for a week."

Farrell’s family expressed their gratitude towards the local community for the outpouring of support and help with finding Farrell. 

“They never gave up on him, and I can't thank them enough from the bottom of my heart,” his daughter, Amy Hill, said. 

Sources: 13 WHAM (2), LiftBump / Photo credit: