Teams from three counties search for missing man in Red River Gorge

The Wolfe County Search & Rescue Team said this man has been missing since Tuesday night at Red River Gorge.
The Wolfe County Search & Rescue Team said this man has been missing since Tuesday night at Red River Gorge. Wolfe County Search & Rescue Team

Teams from Wolfe, Powell and Menifee spent hours Wednesday searching for a man who has been missing at Red River Gorge since Tuesday night.

The man, named Leslie according to Wolfe County Search & Rescue Team, was being searched for along Bison Way, Indian Staircase and Frogs Head.

At about 8 p.m. Wednesday, the search was suspended for the night for rescuers’ safety, according to the rescue team. The search was set to resume Thursday morning.

Hikers were advised to avoid the area overnight. Leslie has a history of mental illness, is possibly armed and had been off his medication for 48 hours as of Wednesday night, according to the Wolfe County Search & Rescue Team.

At 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, the man sent a text to his mother stating he was lost, Wolfe County authorities posted on Facebook. The post said his camp site was found at the top of Frogs Head.

The 29-year-old man is 5-feet-7, 215 pounds and has a large circular tattoo on his right shoulder. He has blue eyes and brown hair.

WKYT, the Herald-Leader’s reporting partner, said Leslie has a brain injury from a car crash and suffers from schizophrenia.

Powell County’s Search & Rescue Team was called out just after midnight to Indian Staircase in Menifee County to search for Leslie.

“It’s been a long night but the search continues,” its team posted on Facebook Wednesday.

The Kentucky National Guard also lent a hand Wednesday by helping with an aerial search, according to Wolfe County Search & Rescue.

The search and rescue teams have been called out to the gorge this summer for hikers who have had various injuries and ailments, including broken ankles, broken femurs and heat exhaustion.

A man fell 150 feet to his death in the Gorge in March and another man died in October after a 220-foot fall.

Herald-Leader reporter Morgan Eads contributed to this report.