TIPPAH COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) -- There was no roar of applause, no cheers from the dozens of search volunteers as the vehicle carrying 54-year-old Phillip Cameron pulled in.
That's because for many, it was a somber moment. Authorities had found Cameron alive, and they were grateful.
"We've really worried that when we did find him, it was going to be a really bad outcome," family friend Penny Jourdan said. "When we found out they found him, it was good, but when we found out they were sitting there talking to him, it was just amazing."
From Tuesday morning onward, search and rescue teams combed wooded areas and relayed that information to a command post, high-tech methods that proved invaluable in the rural Tippah County terrain.
For much of the day, all-terrain vehicles traversed the dirt road leading to the search grid, leaving reserve officials waiting for the next trip.
Those in charge knew two crucial things were working against them: time and energy.
"As the darkness was coming on us, our plan was to get in some more search teams from other areas because we were running out of manpower," Union County Emergency Management Agency Director Curt Clayton said.
Sometime before 6 p.m. Tuesday, one of the groups made the discovery.
Cameron had been located near a logging road off County Road 548, disoriented and thirsty, but otherwise okay.
"There have been so many people praying, so many people. And there's a lot of people that wanted to come and couldn't," Jourdan said. "But they were praying, and I think that's what got him through."
Equally inspiring, Jourdan adds, was the support she and Cameron's family members received -- an outpouring of efforts from three counties and 13 volunteer fire departments.
"When you start [something like this], there's kinda that helpless feeling," Tippah County Sheriff Karl Gaillard said. "To have those people come out and support you, it's just a good thing."
Even though questions remain as to why Cameron drove out there, for now, his family's just glad he's safe and sound.
Cameron was transported to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.
His family says he will have some tests performed to find out if any medical condition could have played a role in his disappearance.