Man honored for finding missing neighbor lost in the Powhatan woods

Posted at 7:04 AM, Nov 30, 2021

POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. -- The CBS 6 Month of Giving continued by showing appreciation to a Powhatan man who helped a neighbor in need.

"He checked his property just like we had advised and with his history being a first responder himself, he knew, 'I have a responsibility to my community to go out and check,' so he did, and it turned out very well," Powhatan Sheriff Brad Nunnally said.

In early November, 79-year-old Cecil Jordan was reported missing by the Powhatan County Sheriff's Office.

Local emergency officials organized several crews, including a helicopter, to search for Mr. Jordan.

He was reported missing from his home at about 4 p.m Wednesday, November 10.

Authorities also put out a call for the public's help.

Jordan's neighbor John Maruca decided to join the search on Thursday morning after Mr. Jordan had not been found Wednesday.

Maruca said he just felt compelled to search the woods near his property.

This was a challenge for Maruca, as he is also in his 70s and walks with a cane.

However, the retired career firefighter ventured out into the woods. To his surprise, he located Mr. Jordan a short time later and notified authorities.

Sheriff Nunnally and Powhatan County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairman Mike Byerly joined in on the CBS 6 Month of Giving as we presented Maruca with a gift to say thank you for his actions to help a neighbor a need; actions that quite possibly may have saved Mr. Jordan's life.

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"We want to say thank you for being a good neighbor, that's what makes communities great, people helping people. We love our law enforcement but sometimes it's your neighbor that can do the most for you. So again, thank you for what you did, and we appreciate it," CBS 6 anchor Leland Pinder said.

Maruca was caught off guard and very surprised by the honor.

"Well, thank you. But really, I can't say enough about the sheriff's department, the fire department, search and rescue, I mean, they were out here doing it, and walking the woods late at night ... it was super. It really makes you feel good ... and I want to tell you also about the dispatchers, because that's where it all started and they really did an outstanding, everybody did such a good job and fortunately, it came out well, " Maruca said.

Sheriff Nunnally also presented Maruca with a special coin.

The CBS 6 Month of Giving made possible by Virginia Credit Union is underway. Watch for a new surprise every day in December on CBS 6 News at 6 a.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. Have an idea about who we should surprise next, click here to email our team.