COFFEE CO., GA (WALB) - Search and rescue teams are leading an expanded effort to find a man who has been missing for more than a week.
They are searching for Jose Mendez Diaz.
Search and rescue teams diligently searched Coffee County today, with machetes, cutting trees, clearing brush, and walking on foot through dense woods.
"We've got areas. We're going to search those areas until we've exhausted every area that we believe he could have went," said Detective Jamie Hersey with the Coffee County Sheriff's Office.
"My belief in the beginning was that he had just wandered off somewhere and that he would show back up, that somebody would find him," said Hersey.
But that hasn't happened. Searchers on horseback and in the air have scoured the area. Now crews are working hard on the ground.
"Today, we've got four-wheelers, golf carts, people on foot, we've got the helicopter coming back. We've got a whole lot more people and we're doing something that they call a grid searches," said Hersey.
Friends of Diaz tell investigators that he may have been intoxicated and was known to get disoriented while walking. Their hope is to find him alive.
"We just want to find him. He's a citizen of our county. He deserves to be found and we're hunting and trying to find him, exhausting every effort we can to find him," said Hersey.
Authorities are asking anyone that saw Diaz or may know where he is to call the Coffee County Sheriff's Office.
According to officials, Diaz called a roommate at 2:30 a.m. last Monday to say that he was disoriented and lost in some woods near the Oak Park area. He said he was trying to walk home from a friend's place on Gum Street at the time.
Experts with the Georgia Search and Rescue Team set up a command post to aid in the search. Searches from last week turned up nothing.
Investigators also said Diaz had blacked out at work a few times in the days before he went missing.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Coffee County Sheriff's Office.