PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Search and rescue crews with Cowlitz County found a 16-year-old hiker using a drone with infrared to locate him in the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument on Monday after he was reported missing.
The teen is home safe with family, officials confirmed Monday evening.
Anthony Mancuso had been hiking the Hummocks Boundary Trail with his mom and 13-year-old sister early Sunday and vanished after stepping off the trail to go to the bathroom. He had no phone or supplies with him at the time of leaving, according to the family, and was only wearing a shirt, shoes, and his shoes when he was last seen.
Anthony told CCSO that he lost his footing and tumbled down a hill after separating from his family. After regaining composure, Anthony was startled by an animal and ran into a bush before climbing up a tree.
“He remained in the tree overnight,” CCSO said in a release Tuesday. “Because of the lack of water and eating pine needles during the night, he had lost his voice and could not call out. So, he began to whistle when he heard searchers nearby.”
Late Monday afternoon, private search dogs and their handlers began working from the last place Anthony was seen. The group was first to find one of Anthony’s shoes stuck in the mud. Ground searchers were then sent to the location and began combing the area, according to CCSO. A short time later, someone heard whistling and they located Anthony in a tree.
“We would ask people to please respect the family’s privacy and not be critical of the situation,” said CCSO. “Getting lost in an unfamiliar forest with difficult terrain can be terrifying and everybody reacts to these situations in their own way. We are very happy with the end result. Anthony was cold, tired, and scrapped up but otherwise ok. So please, be respectful.”
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