Athens man with Alzheimer's found safe at Huntsville gas station

ATHENS, AL (WAFF) - Authorities said an Athens man who suffers from Alzheimer's disease and had been missing for most of the night Wednesday was found safe at a Huntsville gas station.

Lonnie Ray Cottles is 76 years old and is on oxygen. He was last seen at his Pryor Street home at 5 p.m.

He had been headed to church services when he got disoriented. He never made it to services at Lighthouse Baptist on U.S. 72 East.

Lauderdale County 911 received a call from Cottles at 7 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., and Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said 911 pinged his phone at Wheeler Dam. Cottles indicated he had two hours of oxygen left and was lost. Johnson was not sure how the call ended.

Crews searched the area near where his phone signal had been detected. A few hours later, authorities received word that Cottles had been seen in the Huntsville area.

Officials said Cottles stopped at a gas station in Huntsville for help around 11:30 p.m. Authorities arrived soon after to make sure Cottles was okay.

"We appreciate everyone who helped share his photo and his information," Johnson said.

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