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Rochester man found safe in woods after two-day search

CONCORD - The search for a missing Rochester man in Strafford ended successfully Monday when the man was found safe, camping about a half-mile from his car, which was parked near the intersection of Johnsonboro Road and Route 202-A in Strafford.

The man, identified as Francis Drown, 54, of Rochester, had been reported missing by his family. Drown had not had contact with family members since 4 p.m. on Friday. He was unaware that a large search effort had been underway on his behalf for two days.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department was notified at 8 p.m. on Sunday night that Drown was missing and had possibly been seen near his vehicle at around 9 a.m. on Saturday on the Johnsonboro Road in Strafford. Fish and Game Conservation Officers, along with Strafford police and fire departments, responded and began to search for him. The search went on through the night and into the early morning hours of Monday.

Dogs from the Rochester Police Department and the Strafford County Sheriff's Office assisted with the Sunday night search.

The search resumed at 9 a.m. on Monday, joined by volunteers from the Upper Valley Search and Rescue Team and dog teams from New England K-9 Search & Rescue. Searchers combed a large wooded area near where Drown's vehicle had been located.

At 11:37 a.m., a volunteer New England K-9 Search & Rescue handler and an Upper Valley Search and Rescue Team member found Drown camping in the woods about a half-mile from his vehicle.

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