Crews have located a 15-year-old boy who was first reported missing Friday when he fell behind while hiking with his family on a remote trail in southern Utah.
The boy was found about 23 hours later — around 2 p.m. Saturday — by a search and rescue team flying a helicopter over the Red Mountain area of Washington County, the sheriff’s office confirmed. They said he is alive and responsive.
Rescuers tracked footprints that matched the boy’s shoes to a nearby canyon, the office said in a statement. The boy was lifted out by the helicopter and treated for symptoms of hypothermia at the trailhead. He has been reunited with his family.
The teenager had been walking with one group of his family when he got tired about 3 p.m. Friday. He decided to slow down and join a second group that had split off and was a little ways behind. But those family members told officers they never saw Kelsey on their way to the top of the overlook at Red Mountain.
Deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office began looking for the boy after he was reported missing. With temperatures dipping below freezing Friday evening, crews sent out two helicopters. They were unable to find him, though, by the time it got dark. Efforts resumed again Saturday morning.
The Red Mountain Trail is about 5 miles roundtrip to the overlook. But it’s only lightly maintained and considered to be a backcountry hike. Much of the area is slickrock.