Hudson Lake man, 70, found dead; police suspect he wandered from his home

Press release from LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office:

The sheriff’s office is investigating the death of a 70-year-old man from Hudson Lake. At 9:30 a.m. CST Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, Deputy Bobby Greer arrived at a residence in the 7500 E block of Tulip Lane in Hudson Lake regarding a missing person report. A caretaker, who is also a cousin, of Vernon Ringler reported that she had last checked on him at approximately 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Wednesday morning when she arrived to check on Mr. Ringler, she could not find him in his home; additionally his dog was also gone. Mr. Ringler was not located following a check of the immediate area.

Additional resources were requested to respond and Deputy Greer, who is a K-9 handler, used his K-9 “Ago” to see if he could initiate a track from the residence. A short time later Deputy Greer found a knit hat and flashlight lying on the ground roughly 150 yards from Mr. Ringler’s home; Mr. Ringler’s dog was also lying nearby.

The dog and items were at the top of a steep, brush-and-thicket-covered slope that led to a pond. Upon further checking, Deputy Greer located Mr. Ringler’s body in the pond, partially in the water.

Detectives from the sheriff’s office have determined that Mr. Ringler most likely walked away from his home late the night before. Mr. Ringler had recently had cataract surgery and would have been wearing dark sunglasses. Relatives also explained that he had recently driven from his home and ended up lost in South Bend. Although not diagnosed, relatives suspected that Mr. Ringler may have been in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Detectives reported that there was no trauma to the body and that no foul play is suspected. While an official cause of death has not been determined, hypothermia is suspected.

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the New Carlisle Police and Fire departments, LaPorte County Emergency Medical Service and the LaPorte County Coroner’s Office.

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