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New York camper, 84, found alive after 8-day disappearance

An 84-year-old camper who had been missing for eight days near the Adirondacks has reportedly been found alive.

Donald Combs, of Sauquoit, N.Y., was located early Thursday by search dogs about a mile and a half from a family camp site. Combs was responsive but severely dehydrated. He was sent to a hospital for observation.

"I didn't believe he would be alive," Combs' son, Eric, told WKTV.com. "At this point the way his age and everything, I just didn't think he'd be alive by now. I know he didn't have a lot of stuff with him. It's just amazing that he made it."

Combs left his home last Thursday and told relatives he intended to be gone up to two days for an outing in the Oneida County town of Forestport on the Adirondack Park's southwestern boundary. They called police when he didn't return.

Crews had been searching for Combs for five days and rescuers apparently found him just in time.

"He was aware, he was awake, and when the trooper approached him, he was able to identify himself that he was Donald Combs but he was very weak," State Police Capt. Francis Coots told WKTV.com. "He was unable to move from that point."

As many 500 people searched for Combs in the wooded area near Forestport. His son told WKTV.com that there aren't enough words to thank them.

"God bless you," Eric Combs said. "That's nothing but swamp, thick terrain; it's just awful. It's nothing I would ask anybody to do, but they were there, they did it, they didn't give up."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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