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Benton County Search And Rescue Team Help Recover Missing Polk County Hiker

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Benton County Search And Rescue Team Help Recover Missing Polk County Hiker

MENA, Ark. (KFSM) — Joshua McLatchy was lost in the Caney Creek Wilderness near Mena, Arkansas in Polk County for six days.

Tuesday (June 4) Polk County reached out to emergency managers in surrounding counties asking for help.

In less than 48 hours after receiving Polk County’s plea, four members of Benton County Search and Rescue team were there along with many other emergency crews.

Friday (June 7) they searched for McLatchy from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Just as they were about to retire for the night, they got a call.

“We came off the trail and changed clothes and were getting ready to head back to town when we got a call that the helicopter from the National Guard. They had spotted him on the mountain with the infrared technology,” said Benton County Search and Rescue Deputy Chief Melissa Middleton.

McLatchy was severely dehydrated but otherwise okay and in good spirits.

“He was extremely happy to see us, relieved, he thought we were angels coming to take him to Heaven,” said Middleton.

The Benton County Search and Rescue Team searched the mountains for 17 hours and hiked more than 20 miles on the rugged Buckeye Trails.

McLatchy is recovering and his family has reached out to the team several times to express how thankful they are for their efforts in the search for him.

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