Bell County man lost in mountains is rescued

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

He said he wants to tell his rescuers thank you! Those are the words from a Middlesboro man who spent Monday night stuck in the mountains between Kentucky and Tennessee!

Rescue crews searched all night for Anthony Michael Mitchell, 21, and just as extra crews were being called in he was found.

"He said mom I"ll be back in a few minutes. Normally he's back in like fifteen or twenty minutes," said Shawnee Smith, Mitchell's mother.

Mitchell left his home Monday morning. But when he didn't come back that night, his mother knew something was wrong.

"Just sit up all night and worried myself sick," said Mitchell.

Mitchell headed into woods near Middlesboro Monday. By that night crews were searching for him.

"These mountains, there's cliffs and places," said Mitchell.

Family members had added concerns. Mitchell is mentally disabled, and they feared he wouldn't make it out alive.

Rescue workers had no leads as to his whereabouts until they got with officials at Bell County Coal's Jellico #1 mine. The security cameras at the mine captured Mitchell on tape.

"They actually saw where he went in at a certain time, which moved our search along," said Robert Brumbach, Captain of the Bell County Rescue Squad.

Finally Tuesday morning Anthony Mitchell was found unhurt. Mitchell said he was not worried but was just thankful to be found.

He said he got his four-wheeler stuck in the mud and did not know what to do.

"How did I get in this mess," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said he wanted to thank all those who helped find him.

"Just a worried sick mother - today was a relief," said Smith.

Rescuers said they are glad to see the happy ending. They were worried they wouldn't find Mitchell before the heavy rains sets in later Tuesday night.

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