By Rachel Dove
HARDY, Ky. - A Pike County man with a history of mental issues who had been missing since March 4 has been found alive and well, in Charleston, W.Va.
According to Pikeville Post 9 of the Kentucky State Police and a member of Gary Runyon’s family, the missing man called home Wednesday morning and reportedly told them he had traveled to Charleston via a cab, and also claimed to have traveled to the western part of the United States during his absence.
Della Auvil, of Hardy, had reported her son missing several days ago, after he failed to return home. Runyon is well known by local residents from his daily walks along Ky. State Road 319 and U.S. Highway 119. According to Auvil, her son has suffered from mental problems for the past 10 years that began after he returned home from military boot camp.
The mother’s concern had increased with each passing day, due mostly to the fact that her son is on medications that are vital to his well-being, and did not have any of those with him when he was last seen. Search parties had combed the area as friends, family members and other concerned individuals looked for the missing man.
Tips had been called in to law enforcement agencies claiming that Runyon had been spotted in South Point, Ohio, and also in Huntington, but those leads did not pan out. The Wednesday morning call to his mother was a very welcome one, as Auvil expressed her joy at hearing her son’s voice.
Auvil and her husband traveled to Charleston to pick up Runyon, and take him to a local hospital to be examined to make sure he had not been injured in any way.
“We just want to thank everyone who helped search for Gary, and we’re so happy to have him home with us, where he belongs,” said the stepfather. “We have been worried out of our minds.”