Missing Scout found alive, three miles from camp
KAMAS, Utah ” An 11-year-old boy who vanished from a Boy Scout camp was found alive and in good condition Tuesday after spending four days lost in the rugged Utah wilderness.
Sheriff Dave Edmunds said Brennan Hawkins was “a little dehydrated, a little weak, but other than that, he was in very good health.”
After downing bottles of water and eating all the granola bars carried by a group of volunteer searchers, the boy asked to play a video game on one rescuer’s cell phone, sheriff said.
Authorities planned to take the youngster to a hospital to be checked out.
Thousands of searchers ” many of them volunteers ” had scoured the area for the boy, using long poles to probe a swollen river.
The youngster from the Salt Lake City suburb of Bountiful was found just before noon near Lily Lake, about five miles from the camp in the Uinta Mountains where he was last seen Friday. He was reunited with his parents and their four other children.
Brennan carried no food or water, and his family had said he did not have a good sense of direction. But the sheriff said the nights had been warm, with temperatures falling only into the 50s. The area is about 100 miles northeast of Salt Lake City.
It was not immediately clear how he survived or whether he tried to find his way back to camp. “He didn’t talk much at all. He just wanted something to eat,” the sheriff said.
Edmunds said investigators will wait until the boy has had time to recover before questioning him.
Kay Godfrey, a spokeswoman for the Boy Scouts’ Great Salt Lake Council, pronounced the boy’s rescue a “modern-day miracle.”
Volunteer Forrest Nunley, a 43-year-old house painter from Salt Lake City, said he found Brennan “standing in the middle of the trail. He was all muddy and wet.”
The boy saw some volunteer searchers on horseback, but “he didn’t want to come out. He was too scared. He was a little delirious. I sat him down and gave him a little food,” Nunley said.
During the search, rescuers had feared the boy had fallen into a river that was swollen by heavy snow melt. The East Fork of the Bear River is within 100 yards of the road where the boy was believed to have been walking. Deep-water rescue teams searched the river, while others combed the rugged area around it.
On Monday, rescuers found three socks and a sandal in the river, but none belonged to Brennan. The boys’ parents also sifted fruitlessly through enough clothing collected from the mountains to fill the bed of a pickup.
Among the volunteer searchers was Kevin Bardsley, whose 12-year-old son, Garrett, vanished last August while camping at a nearby lake. He was never found despite a weeklong search.
“When we came off this mountain in the winter, my friends and I decided right then, if anyone came missing, we’d be there immediately,” Bardsley said.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User