Search expanded for missing man with dementia in Smokies


GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – Great Smoky Mountain National Park rangers have expanded the search for a missing New Jersey man who suffers from dementia.

Thirteen different search teams from various agencies are searching for 58-year-old Kevin Lynch Monday after he went missing on Saturday, July 27, along the boundary of the park at the Swag resort in Haywood County, N.C. near the Cataloochee Divide Trail.

Lynch, from Woodbridge, New Jersey, suffers from dementia and may be confused as to his location. He was last seen wearing brown cotton shorts, a brown shirt with a whitetail deer on it, and a camouflage baseball cap.

Photo: This photo was taken of Lynch on the day he was last seen. He was wearing a brown colored shirt and hat.

The thirteen teams are conducting on and off-trail search operations for Lynch. Park officials requested the assistance of six canine search teams through Haywood County Emergency Management. 

Some 180 searchers, investigators, and incident command personnel are being utilized in the search effort.

GSMNP rangers are asking you to contact the park’s Emergency Communications Center at 865-436-1230 if you were hiking on the Cataloochee Divide Trail after 3 p.m. Saturday or have any information regarding Lynch’s location.

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