NEW DETAILS: Authorities Believe They Have Found Sam Counts

UPDATE: 71-Year-Old Sam Counts died of hypothermia, according to the Spokane County Medical Examiner, in what was ruled an accidental death.


UPDATE: SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Seven days after Sam Counts, 71, disappeared from his home, a search and rescue team believes they may have found his body in north Spokane County near the small town of Elk.

Sam Counts disappeared 2 weeks ago his home in Spokane Valley.

His wife said they came home from Christmas shopping when Sam realized he forgot to buy bread.

He left for the store in his Kia sedan.

The Spokane County Sheriff's helicopter was in the Elk area on Friday, they spotted Sam's car.

It was on North Blanchard Road, abandoned, with no sign of Sam anywhere.

The search continued using Air One and bloodhounds to try and track the missing mans scent.

Less than a half hour later a body was spotted approximately a half mile away from the car.

There was nothing suspicious found in the area.

Deputies believe Counts had gotten lost.

The medical examiners office has been notified.

An autopsy will be performed to confirm the identity of the body and cause of death.


UPDATE: SCSO believe they have found the body of 71 year-old Sam Counts.

UPDATE: AIR1 has FOUND Mr. Counts' car in Elk in the area of 29303 N. Blanchard. He's been missing since last Friday. Counts was NOT with his car. There's a search happening now to locate him, blood hound dogs are assisting in the search.

UPDATE: Air1 was not successful in finding Mr. Counts on Thursday afternoon. The Spokane County Sheriff's Office plans on sending up Air1 on Friday, depending on the weather. We will update you with more once we have it.

UPDATE: Air1 will be deployed this afternoon in the search for a 71-year-old missing man. Authorities will be looking for Counts' vehicle in remote areas of Spokane County. As you can imagine, family and friends are beyond worried about Samuel. Authorities are also putting out a flyer for Mr. Counts state-wide. 


SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - 71-year-old Samuel H. Counts has been missing since Friday, November 23, 2012. Counts was last seen at his residence located at 4928 E. 9th Avenue in Spokane Valley around 3:00 p.m. Samuel left his residence to go to a local store driving a white 2012 Kia sedan, Washington state license #AJD4999.

Samuel was last seen wearing a red and black jacket, jeans and white tennis shoes. He is six feet tall and weighs 170 pounds. He also has dementia. Sam is the father of 10 children and a retired Vietnam War vet who served in the Air Force for more than two decades.

There was a possible sighting of Sam at a Dollar Store in Argonne Village on Saturday morning.An employee there said a man matching Sam's description walked in and seemed disoriented. A manager at McDonalds believes she saw him on Sullivan. Sam's family thinks it is possible that he got separated from his car. 

They have been pounding the pavement and posting flyers, but they need your help. Anyone who sees Samuel Counts or his vehicle is asked to call 911.