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Missing Arkansas hiker Josh McClatchy found alive after 6 days in woods


Missing Arkansas hiker Josh McClatchy found alive after 6 days in woods Searchers in rural Arkansas are celebrating Saturday after missing hiker Josh McClatchy one week after he went missing in the woods of Polk County. McClatchy, 37, was reported missing on June 1 after he went on a hike in the Caney Creek Wilderness area, but ended up getting lost. The Texas native texted his mother to say he needed help, but cellphone service was spotty at best and he was unable to give much help as to his location. Those texts a week ago were the last anyone had heard from McClatchy until Friday night. After weather and timing issues, search and rescue crews finally had a good window for a National Guard helicopter, equipped with infrared technology, to locate McClatchy, according to Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer. Sawyer said McClatchy is in good shape and good spirits, but he is dehydrated. He was transported to Mena Regional Health System in Mena, Arkansas, for further evaluation. McClatchys parents and sister, who regularly posted search updates on a Facebook page, are with him at the hospital. The crew spotted McClatchy from the chopper within 30 minutes of beginning the search, but it took the search team an hour by foot to reach his location about 3 miles into the Caney Creek Wilderness area. He was off the trail when he was located, according to Sawyer. It took about four hours for the rescuers to carry him out on a one wheeled rescue cart The rescue team consisted of about 35 people in total, Sawyer said. He went missing on the mountainous Buckeye Trail, which is in the wilderness area east of Mena, the Polk County Sheriffs Office said. His car was found at the Buckeye trailhead, authorities said. Lost hikers are common in that area, but they are usually found within a few hours, according to the sheriff. McClatchy did have protein bars and bottled water with him, though its unclear how much he consumed before getting lost. He also had a filter straw that could help him drink potentially unclear water, his family said. He had been planning the hike for the last month, but it was his first time undertaking a trip alone. McClatchys rescue comes a few weeks after Amanda Eller after she went missing on a hike for 17 days. McClatchys mother, Jen, invoked Ellers name in an interview with ABC News on Thursday. “Out here the towers are 40 miles apart and not accurate in getting location, as opposed to Hawaii where Amanda Eller was getting rescued,” Jen McClatchy said. “Their towers were much closer and so its harder out here to track that kind of thing.” ABC News Nick Cirone and Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.

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