CHIANG MAI: A 72-year-old French man who lost his way in a forest in Doi Tao district was found safe at a deserted hilltop temple on Friday.
Pol Lt Col Mokkara Srisakunpisut, inspector of the Chiang Mai Tourist Police, said a team of 200 police officers, local officials and residents began searching for Jacques Moriceau around 12.30am on Friday, after they were alerted by his relatives.
Mr Moriceau was on the way back to his home in Hang Dong district after driving his pickup truck to the French consulate in Muang district late Thursday morning. He was lost on the way back and could not be contacted by his relatives on Thursday afternoon.
After being alerted, a trace of his phone’s signal led police to locate him at a forest in Doi Tao.
The police then coordinated with Bong Tan tambon administration organisation chairman Khomdet Aiyakul and local leaders in the district to assist in the search. They found him at Wat Phrathat Chomsawan, a deserted hilltop temple, said Pol Lt Col Mokkara.
The route to the deserted temple took about one hour from a main road to this forested area.
The Frenchman apparently looked exhausted when the search team arrived. He was taken to Doi Tao Hospital and his condition was safe, said the police officer.
According to police, Mr Moriceau has Alzheimer’s disease and could not remember his way home after he submitted official documents to the French consulate.
He drove along the route about 100 kilometres away from his house to the forested area at Doi Tao lake, and his vehicle got stuck there. He then set out on foot to get help. Along the way, he found the deserted temple.
The French national thanked tourist police and local people for their assistance.
He has settled down with his Thai wife in the northenrn province for more than 10 years.