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Missing man rescued from Emery County canyon

Published May 14, 2013 7:35 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A missing mountain biker in Emery County was found a day after he got separated from his group.

Sam Spirio-Johnston, 18, of Salt Lake City was with a mountain biking party in the Keg Point area, which is in southeast corner of Emery County, on Monday when he decided to get a drink from the Green River. But he went the wrong direction to get back to his group and became separated, according to an Emery County Sheriff's Office news release.

His group reported him missing about 3:40 p.m.

"[They] told emergency responders that [Spirio-Johnston] had wrecked on his bike a couple days ago, so they thought he was just being extra cautious and lagging behind," according to the release.

The sheriff's office and the National Park Service searched the area until dark, but couldn't find him. They returned Tuesday morning with bikes, all-terrain vehicles and a helicopter, and eventually found his bike — with one flat tire — by a ravine on the south rim of the canyon, but not Spirio-Johnston.

Searchers then spotted three canoes full of people pointing their paddles to the top of the cliffs, where the helicopter pilot found the missing man standing on the rim, waving. He was about three miles, as the crow flies, from where he abandoned his bike.

Spirio-Johnston appeared to be in good condition, according to the news release. He explained that he had found a place to sleep Monday, and tried walking back Tuesday but kept getting "ledged in," according to the release.

mmcfall@sltrib.comTwitter: @mikeypanda