The body of missing nursing home patient William ‘Billy’ Harden, 47, was found by Candler County Sheriff’s Deputies shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday in an area northwest of Orchard Health & Rehabilitation in Pulaski, where he was a patient.
The cause of death was unknown at press time. Sheriff John Miles said on Tuesday afternoon that an autopsy will be conducted.
Harden was first reported missing on Friday afternoon and a search immediately ensued. Candler County Sheriff’s Office issued a Mattie Alert for Harden on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
What is unclear is how Harden was able to leave the facility.
“Somehow he breached their secure environment to get out,” Miles said.
Rachel Parker, administrator of Orchard Health, said, “Here at Orchard Health and Rehabilitation we are patient focused. We are in the process of gathering all the necessary information at this time.”
The search was ongoing at the time that Harden’s body was found. Assisting with the search were Metter Fire-Rescue and Bulloch County Canine Unit.