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17 Days After 69-Yr-Old Hiker Goes Missing, Rescue Teams Bring Him Home Again!

When you’re lost in the wilderness, every second feels like an eternity.

Harry Burleigh took his camping and fishing gear with him when he headed into the woods for a camping trip near Toketee, Oregon. A few days later, his wife Stacy grew concerned when he didn’t come home as planned.

Stacy called the authorities around 10 p.m. to report that her husband was missing. Search and rescue teams were assembled, and they immediately began combing the dense forest area. The search went on for days, but there was no sign of Harry anywhere. Everyone was worried – the temperatures were in the low 20s some nights, and it had even snowed.

On May 15, the rescuers finally caught a break when they found his fishing gear and a shelter in the Calf Creek area. Douglas County Search and Rescue called in support from more than 16 search and rescue organizations, and they left no path untaken. Stacy even placed messages and food along the trail.

“They left him a note and lighter and told him to make a fire and they would be back in to get him tomorrow,” Stacy wrote on Facebook. “It took the team another six hours to get out.”

Two days later, a team found another shelter, but this time, Harry was nearby and heard the rescuers calling his name! “He was found to be walking and complaining of minor pain, but was in stable condition,” Douglas County Search and Rescue wrote on Facebook.

Elated, the crews radioed for a Brim helicopter to get the exhausted hiker off the mountain. Harry was taken to the hospital for a complete evaluation after spending 17 long days out in the elements.

“This was the outcome we all have been looking for in this case,” Sgt. Brad O’Dell said. “It is because of our determined Search and Rescue Teams and the partnerships we have with other SAR teams from around the state, that Mr. Burleigh has been reunited with his family this evening.”

A very grateful Harry told his saviors that he kept moving “one day at a time, one step at a time,” thinking of his family in every moment! Sounds like Harry is one tough, determined fellow.

Share this story to welcome Harry back home.

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