A missing 12-year-old Boy Scout that went missing overnight in the Ashley National Forest in Utah has been found alive. Jared Ropelato of Hooper, Utah was reported missing by a scoutmaster Friday afternoon near Spirit Lake Trailhead and Dagget Lake.
After spending 20 hours in the forest, however, the boy was eventually found. The search effort for the 12-year-old started Friday at 1:30PM and lasted until 9PM, but he was not found at the time. When the search resumed Saturday at 7AM, he was located within two-and-a-half hours.
A spokeswoman for Daggett County Sheriff’s Office reports that the Boy Scout was found by searchers in the canal area of Long’s Park, about 5 miles south of where his scoutmasters say he was last seen.
“He had done some hiking but was in good condition. He told us that when night fell Friday he made himself a lean-to and settled in for the night. One of our [sheriff’s] EMTs checked him out and he’s fine,” the spokeswoman said.
200 volunteers in addition to official searchers took part in the search effort.
The spokeswoman noted that although temperatures dipped below 50 degrees overnight, Ropelato built himself a structure consisting of branches and sticks, which Boy Scout scoutmasters advise their scouts to do if they are ever lost in the woods. Searchers say that he also dug a hole in the dirt in order to keep his entire body warm all night. He was found that way when he was ultimately located.