Rescuers Near Icy Pond Find Naked Checotah Man Inside Guitar Case
MUSKOGEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - A Muskogee county man is recovering after falling through the ice and spending a bitterly cold night outside.
He was discovered in just his boxer shorts and trying to stay warm inside a guitar case, in a rugged area just North of Porum, in Muskogee County.
Southern Muskogee County is still covered in ice. Trees are coated, ponds are covered with a thin solid layer. Despite the conditions, Porum police say 31-year-old Zackery Aders took off walking on a trip that could have killed him.
"If he would have tried to spend another night out there after the night we had last night, he wouldn't have made it," said Porum Police Chief Jimmy Catron.
Police say Aders was trying to walk 26 miles from Gore to Checotah in brutally cold conditions to see a woman. But he got lost, fell through the ice on a pond or creek, and spent 24 hours disoriented, wet and cold in the woods.
"The guy was like, 'Help me, help me. My legs, my feet,'" said Emily Shamblin said.
Her husband was working on his dozer when he heard Aders yelling for help.
"He kept on asking my husband, 'Please, don't let me die.' [My husband said], 'Man, I'm not going to let you die, they're on their way to help you,'" Shamblin said.
Aders was discovered in nothing but his boxer shorts. His other clothes were frozen solid.
"I'm like, 'Where was his clothes?'" Shamblin said. "[My husband said], 'After he fell in the pond, he took his jeans off, because he was so cold and they were so stiff.' And I was like, 'Are you serious?'"
With temperatures around 10 degrees, police say Aders got partially inside a guitar case he had with him to try to stay warm.
"Sitting in a guitar case in his underwear," Catron said.
Aders was taken from the icy, wooded area to a hospital and treated and released.
Police say Aders was likely under the influence of something when he started his trip.
"He kind of more or less admitted that he was last night, but that he was coming down, and spending the night in the cold woods, I guess, will bring you down pretty hard," Catron said.
Since Aders didn't have any outstanding warrants, he wasn't arrested.