Searchers in Rocky Mountain National Park have found a 48-year-old man who had been missing since Monday.
Terry Harlon, 48, of Shreveport, La., was found Thursday at about 12:30 p.m. after crews zeroed in on an area where an "SOS" was carved in the snow.
Harlon was in relatively good condition and was able to walk out to the road with some help, and driven to Holzwarth Historic Site before he was taken away by an ambulance to Granby Medical Center. He was tired, weak, dehydrated, and hungry, but OK.
"I was just so glad to see him. I told him, 'Honey, I knew you were coming home. I knew you were going to make it,'" said his wife, Judy Harlon. "Thanks to everybody for finding my husband ... There's been so much tremendous prayer for him ... So if any of you believe that God does not answer prayers and give miracles, you just look over there in that ambulance. And that's living proof right there."
Aerial searchers first spotted Harlon near the headwaters of the Colorado River, waving to the search helicopter.
The helicopter dropped a radio, food and water to him and told him to stay put while they relayed the message to the incident command team, which sent rescuers on foot. Harlon was about six miles away from the Colorado River Trailhead, close to where the Little Yellowstone Trail intersects with the Grand Ditch.
"The trail itself is not that difficult but the terrain surrounding everything along the river basin is actually really steep and very inaccessible. They couldn't even land a helicopter in that area," said Scott Sticha with Rocky Mountain National Park.
Harlon's wife had filed the missing persons report on Monday with Estes Park police after he failed to return home from a trip to the park over the weekend. He last spoke to his wife by telephone on May 24, they said.
Park rangers found Harlon's rented van Wednesday afternoon at a parking area at the Colorado River Trailhead, on the west side of the park. His day pack and camera were not in the van, officials said. The last time he used an ATM was on May 25 in nearby Grand Lake.
An employee of the Water Supply and Storage Company, which manages the Grand Ditch water diversion area, was hiking in the area Thursday and noticed what he believed to be an "S.O.S" symbol in the snow. He alerted park staff and aerial searchers came to the area and confirmed the symbol. They continued to fly in the general area and found Harlon sitting on a rock flagging the helicopter.
About 50 people were involved in the search. Park rangers were assisted by Grand County Sheriffs Office, Grand County Search and Rescue, Grand Lake Fire Protection District, Larimer County Search and Rescue and the Colorado Search and Rescue Board. A helicopter and four dog teams were also involved in Thursday's search.
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