June 9 (UPI) — Searchers in Arkansas found a Fort Worth, Texas, man overnight, six days after he went missing while hiking in a wilderness area, local law enforcement officials announced Saturday.
Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer said a National Guard helicopter used a thermal imaging infrared camera to detect Joshua McClatchy in the Caney Creek Wilderness area late Friday night. Sawyer said McClatchy was transported to the Mena Regional Health System, where he was dehydrated but in good condition.
A search was launched for McClatchy on May 31 after he texted his mother from a trail, saying he was lost and needed help.
“Hey mom, I need your help,” he texted her. “Remain calm and we’ll get through this.”
Officials scoured the woods and trails in the wilderness for six days before Sawyer said his office received cellular data from McClatchy’s phone pinpointing his rough location. The National Guard helicopter focused on that area using the thermal imaging infrared camera.
McClatchy’s family and friends participated in the search, including his sister, Miranda Balduf, who drove to Arkansas from Phoenix, and his roommate, John Obeidin. Obeidin said he was charging his car when he heard the news of McClatchy’s rescue.
“They are getting Josh off the mountain right now,” he said in a Facebook post. “Every single person who participated in this rescue operation is incredible.”