Randy Winter, the rhythm guitarist for the group Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, helped save a missing man's life in Northeast Florida last week. After the Clay County Sheriff's Office shared an alert for David Willard, who was reported missing, on April 26, Winter rushed to help investigators. Winter realized that investigators searched for Willard in the woods near his Middleburg, Florida home and offered to help.
Winter thought that his "highly-trained" ears would help officials in their search. When he searched, he waited for complete silence in the hopes of picking something up. "I was like, ‘Well, I hear something, but they don’t seem to be responding,’ so I kind of hang out there for a minute and it was like an uncomfortable minute just standing there waiting because I know my wife went further," Winter told News4Jax.
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When Winter heard a noise, he stopped searchers from telling them what he heard. Investigators were shocked and a little apprehensive at first, Winter recalled. The investigators stopped their ATVs and at first heard nothing. But then the sound did happen again, and they realized what Winter heard was not a natural sound. It was Willard calling for help! The investigators tracked him down and brought Willard back home.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus was founded in Middleburg, located just south of Jacksonville, in 2003. Although the band has done national tours, Winter still lives in Middleburg. The group found their biggest national success in 2006 with their first album, Don't You Fake It, which included the singles "False Pretense," "Face Down," "Your Guardian Angel," and "Damn Regret." In August, the group released The Emergency EP. They recorded the album in 2019, but its release was delayed because of the pandemic.
Winter's brother, Ronnie Winter, is the band's lead singer. During the pandemic, Ronnie often did Facebook Live sessions as a way to connect with his fans. "There is a lot of money being made with virtual ticketing, but I’ve been doing it for free since March consistently because our fans are hurting," Wonnie told Loudwire in August 2020. "I mainly just want to keep encouraging people to take care of themselves mentally and physically; I play songs because they ask me to. (laughs) I just don’t have the heart to charge for something like that; my Facebook streams are really just about letting them know somebody out there cares about them."