Teen hiker missing in Washington County has been found

Britton Kelsey. Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah, Nov. 28, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A 15-year-old boy who went missing Friday during a group hike on Red Mountain Trail, northwest of St. George, has been found.

Britton Kelsey was located in a canyon at about 2 p.m. Saturday after volunteers with Washington County Search and Rescue found shoe impressions and tracked them to the teen.

“At that time Britton was able to communicate with rescuers. The Utah Department of Safety helicopter was able to retrieve Kelsey from the canyon with the assistance of the Search & Rescue high angle team,” said a news release from Lt. David Crouse, public information officer for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Britton was transported to the trailhead and was treated there by waiting medical personnel.

He was treated for symptoms of hypothermia, the news release said, but no further information was provided.

The sheriff’s office was notified at about 3 p.m. Friday that Britton was missing on the Red Mountain Trail. He had become separated from his party while hiking the overlook trail, an earlier WCSO news release said.

According to that news release, the group was originally split into two hiking groups. Britton had “fallen behind the first group and was believed to have met up with the second group. Family and other members notified the Sheriff’s Office when their search efforts were unsuccessful.”

Sheriff’s deputies and search and rescue volunteers joined in the search, and as nighttime temperatures were forecast to be below freezing, additional resources were requested.

“Air support was received from both IHC’s Life Flight Helicopter and the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter. The area was searched using night vision and FLIR. Shortly after midnight, search efforts were temporarily suspended,” the initial WCSO news release said.

Air and ground crews resumed the search at 7 a.m. Saturday, along with volunteers and family friends, and the teen was located about seven hours later.

Gephardt Daily will update this story as any further information becomes available.


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