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9-year-old who disappeared during Summit Co. hike found safe

Posted at 7:28 AM, Jul 02, 2020

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Search and rescue crews have reunited a nine-year-old boy with his father after he became separated from the rest of his hiking group Wednesday.

Stratton Joshua Wright of Idaho was lost in the Henry's Fork area of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. He was found safe Thursday morning.

A member of Stratton's hiking group climbed to the top of a mountain to place a 9-1-1 call at about 9:45 Wednesday night, the Sheriff's Office spokesman said.

About 30 search and rescue crew members and a helicopter team responded to look for Stratton but did not immediately locate him. Ground crews, horseback searchers, dog search teams and aerial search teams came to the area Thursday morning.

Ultimately the search came down to 9-year-old Stratton Wright’s father and his determination to find his son.

“We are considered the train professionals…” Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez told FOX13 . “We had helicopters we had horses we had professionals that knew how to use the GPS devices and go out there and do great searches. And we have a father that shows up hours later and I guess that’s a testament to a father-son bond because he was able to find him faster than we were.”

The Summit County Sheriff said that his father who was not on the camping trip with the rest of the family drove from Idaho as soon as he learned his son was missing.

“He arrived at the command post at about 3 o’clock in the morning,” Martinez said. “Check in with certain rescue and then made a 5 mile track to where they were camping and started his own search”

Stratton Wright meanwhile knew exactly what to do when he figured out he was lost.

“This was his words he knew he had to conserve energy” Martinez said. “So instead of continuing his journey throughout the night, he chose to lay down and take a nap.”

Wright found a field as the sun rose because he knew it would be an easy place to be spotted.

That’s where his father saw him and set out towards him, Stratton didn’t recognize his father at first but once he did “He ran towards his father, obviously tears shed very emotional moment for both father and son,” Martinez said

After the ordeal was over the two were flown back to the Henry Fork Trail head to head home and when search and rescue crews checked the 9-year-old out he asked for a Twix bar as his first request.

Father and son are heading back to Idaho and are in good health.