Student found safe after two days missing in Yosemite

Reuters News
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Posted: May 30, 2012 11:14 AM

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A 22-year-old college student who went missing in Yosemite National Park in California two days ago has been found safe about five miles (eight kilometers) from the campsite where he was last seen, a park spokesman said on Monday.

Authorities combing the nearly 1,200-square-mile (3,100-square-km) park spotted John Paul Chaufan Field by helicopter at about 3:15 p.m. on Monday and made contact with him, Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman said.

The University of California at Santa Cruz senior was unharmed and in good health, Gediman said, and was being transported from the back-country to a ranger station in the park's Hetch Hetchy area.

Chaufan Field had last been seen at mid-morning on Saturday, walking away alone from a campsite near the park's Kibbie Lake and was still gone when the rest of the students in his group set off for day hikes, Gediman said.

His backpack and other gear were left at the camp. When he was still missing early the next morning, several students from his group hiked out to contact park rangers.

He was found about five miles (eight km) away near Edith Lake. Authorities could not immediately say if he had hiked there alone or why he left the group.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Beech)