Missing 69-Year-Old Oregon Man Found Alive After 17 Nights In The Wilderness
A 69-year-old man has been found by police after spending 17 nights in the Oregon wilderness.
Oregon man Harry Burleigh was reported missing by his wife Stacy on the evening of May 7. She had grown concerned after Harry had not returned from his camping trip, in the Toketee area, on May 6.
As a result, a widespread search began for Harry, and on May 8, Douglas County Search and Rescue were able to find his vehicle at a trailhead that leads to Twin Lakes.
From this find, the rescue team hypothesised he had walked into the Twin Lakes area to fish before getting lost. As the search continued, the rescue crew enlisted the help of other teams.
The trail was part of the Umpqua National Forest, which sits on the west of the Cascade Mountains. To help survey this region, 40 volunteers from eight counties began searching for Harry. The volunteers even set up a Facebook group dedicated to his recovery.
Despite the efforts of the authorities and volunteers, no additional clues to Harry’s whereabouts had been found for days. However, on May 16, searchers found a tackle box and a makeshift shelter that was believed to be Harry’s. Although there was evidence of Harry staying at the spot, he was not found.
Stacey explained in a Facebook post that the team of searchers left a note for Harry:
They left him a note and lighter and told him to make a fire and they would be back in to get him tomorrow (today). It took the team another 6 hours to get out.
Another week went by before the search teams found another shelter southwest of the previous one. This time, when they called out to Harry, they got a response.
The news release from the Douglas Co. Sheriff’s Office noted that:
The search crews called out to Mr. Burleigh who responded back. He was found to be walking and complaining of minor pain, but was in stable condition. A Brim Aviation helicopter was utilized to hoist Burleigh from his location and transport him to a waiting Lifeflight helicopter. Lifeflight later transported him to an out of area hospital for evaluation.
On the back of Harry’s return, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brad O’Dell said,’This was the outcome we all have been looking for in this case.’ He went on to thank all of those involved in the rescue, which included 18 separate authorities.
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CreditsDouglas Co. Sheriff's Office
Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office