Authorities find man caught on viral trail cam picture - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Authorities find man caught on viral trail cam picture

(Source: Tracey Baysinger) (Source: Tracey Baysinger)

Authorities have now talked to a man after a widely-circulated picture of him was caught on a trail cam in Madison County, Missouri.

The picture of the man walking past a corn pile in some woods near rural Fredericktown has spread like wildfire on social media.

There wouldn't be anything too unusual about it, but it has some people concerned. In light of recent cell phone purchases in the area that are being investigated by the FBI as suspicious, some people were jumping to conclusions.

Madison County Sheriff Robert Spain says deputies found the man walking along a road in southern Washington County on Saturday.

Spain says the man was cooperative. Deputies took the man back to the sheriff's office to talk, but did not arrest him. They released him and no charges were filed.

According to Spain, the man is an American citizen, of polish descent and has lived in Chicago for the last 25 years.

Spain says the man does not have a criminal record and he did not have any warrants.

The man told officers he left Illinois and traveled to southeast Missouri "to get away from his parents."

He was driving and left his car on a service road in Madison County, he then started walking.

Spain said they have not found the car.

The man is now on his way to St. Louis.

Many people were talking about it because they don't know who the man is.

“I didn’t know who the guy was, but I didn’t think anything too bad, I thought it just a guy on the side of the highway," John Wooldridge said.

Wooldridge said he believes he had an encounter with the man caught on the trail camera outside of Fredericktown on Dec. 1.

“I was just leaving the house and seen a man cross the highway, so I kind of watched him because I figured he was an hitchhiker," he said.

That’s when Wooldridge said the man ran across the highway and into the woods headed toward his house. Wooldridge said he went to go figure out why

“He came out of the woods, screaming arms wailing, making a fist just screaming," he said.

Wooldridge called police who patrolled the area, but didn’t see him again.

What he didn’t know was the same man was spotted just 16 miles south just a few days earlier in Madison County.

“We’re still trying to locate the individual, and like I said we don’t have any suspicious activity or anything at this time," Spain said on Friday.

He believes the issue was blown out of proportion.

“I think it was blown up by social media because of the time that we’re in and the things that are going on in our country right now," Spain said. "I think people are genuinely scared and I think any little thing can turn into this.”

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