ST. GEORGE — A teenage boy who reportedly went missing Tuesday while shed hunting has been found following an extensive 24-hour multiagency search.
The teen disappeared while looking for deer antlers in a remote area southwest of the Mt. Trumbull Schoolhouse in the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, approximately sixty miles south of St. George.
When Arizona’s Mohave County Sheriff’s Office was notified Tuesday afternoon that the teen had gone missing, a search and rescue effort was initiated, using both a ground team and a helicopter from the state’s Department of Public Safety.
Personnel from Washington County, as well as law enforcement rangers from the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service joined Mohave County in the search effort, Jeff Axel, a spokesman for the national monument, said in a statement.
“The teen was not equipped to stay overnight in below freezing temperatures,” Axel said, adding that the teen was wearing only a moderately warm coat, jeans, a ball cap and hiking boots.
National Park Service rangers Steve Edwards and Royce Orme spotted the teen Wednesday afternoon walking down BLM1054 – a rough dirt road that vehicles rarely travel on during the winter, officials said.
“This was the first time the teen had been in the area,” Axel said. “He reported that he did not know which way to go due to the confusing terrain.”
By the time he was found, the teen had been lost for 24 hours and had walked three miles from where he had last been seen, officials said, noting that the teen had some matches and was able to start a fire for warmth, but he did not have food.
When rescued, the teenager had no water left and there was no water in the area other than a dusting of snow on the ground, Axel said.
“The teen’s survival over several days would be unlikely due to the cold and because of the lack of travelers in the area who could have helped him,” Axel said.
Officials are cautioning the public Friday to be aware that cellphones do not work throughout the monument.
Visitors who plan to travel on the Arizona Strip, including the Parashant, are encouraged to bring a satellite phone or messenger and extra supplies, as well as to obtain the 2016 BLM Arizona Strip map to assist with navigation in the remote and rugged area, Axel said.
The Arizona Strip map is available at the Public Lands Information Center in St. George located at 345 E. Riverside Drive.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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