A Blaine County legislator who was reported missing early Tuesday morning by the Hailey Police Department was safely located about eight hours later in Lincoln County, according to emergency transmissions from Blaine County Emergency Communications.
State Sen. Ron Taylor, a freshman lawmaker representing Idaho’s District 26, was reported missing around 7 a.m. Tuesday after he left his home in Hailey without his cellphone and missed a meeting that morning, the Hailey Police Department reported in a Facebook post hours later.
The post sought public help locating Taylor, detailing his vehicle information and describing him as a “vulnerable” adult. It was shared some 350 times and cross-posted to pages affiliated with the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office, Blaine County, District 26 Rep. Ned Burns and Blaine County Commissioner Muffy Davis, a former state representative.
A welfare check and attempt to locate Taylor was called off around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday after Taylor was located by Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies uninjured. Taylor was transported to a hospital in Twin Falls, according to local scanner traffic. As of Wednesday afternoon, he was no longer a patient, according to a hospital spokesperson.
Hailey Police Chief Steve England declined to say how many agencies were involved in the search.
In an official statement issued Thursday on behalf of Taylor, his wife, Alex Taylor, and campaign manager, Naomi McDougall Jones, thanked the community for “the abundance of amazing and supportive messages,” “deep love, care, and compassion you have shown him and us, and for all of your help in getting him found.”
Taylor was located as “a direct result of someone seeing the Hailey Police Department’s social media post,” the statement said.
“Senator Ron Taylor went missing from his home on Tuesday morning after a period of mental health struggles, following his return from the Senate session,” McDougall Jones and Alex Taylor stated. “We are overjoyed to report that our amazing local and state police and sheriff departments were able to locate him that same afternoon and that Senator Taylor is now safe and getting the help he deserves.”
Any cards or supportive notes can be directed to P.O. Box 3172, Hailey, ID 83333, it said.
The statement also asked for privacy at this time.
“Senator Taylor is deeply committed to the people of his community and district. His staff and colleagues will be working to ensure that both are well taken care of over the coming weeks,” the statement read. “May is mental health awareness month and we hope that this can become a positive moment for our Idaho community to talk about and support each other through the human struggles we all face.”
In a Facebook post Thursday morning, England echoed the request for privacy.
“It was a successful and positive outcome,” England stated “However, that’s where the public’s involvement ends, and your Hailey Police will continue to support any individual and/or their family in our community if needed. We will not broadcast where things go from there. First responders from our immediate and surrounding areas carried out their duties and good, caring citizens reported what they saw.”
Taylor, a Democrat who took office in January, is a longtime first responder in Blaine County who spent 22 of his 27 years of firefighting and paramedic work with Wood River Fire & Rescue. He has held numerous other jobs and volunteer positions, including work as a crisis counselor with The Crisis Hotline.
Taylor defeated former District 25 Rep. Laurie Lickley, R-Jerome, in the state Senate race following a campaign that focused on K-12 investment, protection of public-lands access and water resources, housing affordability and reproductive freedom.
In February, Taylor openly supported House Bill 18, which ensured that “post-traumatic stress injury” will continue to be recognized as an occupational injury among first responders, with treatment available through worker’s compensation. Gov. Brad Little signed the bill into law in February; it will go into effect July 1.
“We ask the community to respect his privacy and that of his family as he goes through his healing process,” the Blaine County Democrats said in a statement Wednesday. “We wish him and his family a robust recuperation.”