A 69-year-old man from Roseburg, Oregon, was found alive after spending 17 days alone in the wilderness in the Twin Lakes area.
Harry Burleigh was reported missing the evening of May 7 by his wife, Stacy, after he failed to return home from a camping trip in the Toketee area.
Search and rescue crews from out of the area began looking for Burleigh on the morning of May 8. They found his vehicle near a lower trailhead that leads into Twin Lakes and determined the fisherman may have tried to walk to Twin Lakes to fish before heading home.
His worried wife made signs and left food along the trails in hopes he would find them.
On May 16, they had a big break when searchers found a tackle box and makeshift shelter.
“They left him a note and lighter and told him to make a fire and they would be back in to get him tomorrow,” Stacey wrote on Facebook. “It took the team another 6 hours to get out.”
A week later, on May 23, rescuers discovered a second makeshift shelter southwest of the original one. The search crews called out to Burleigh who responded back. He was found to be walking and complaining of minor pain, but was in stable condition.
Burleigh was evaluated at the hospital and reunited with his family that evening.
“This was the outcome we all have been looking for in this case,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brad O’Dell. “The Sheriff’s Office wants to thank everyone who was involved in this mission.”
O’Dell said temperatures in the area got down into the 20s, and even snowed.
“He told the searchers yesterday that he kept doing this ‘one day at a time, one step at a time,’ for love for his family and everything else,” O’Dell said. “So that mindset, that winning mindset, I think played a big role.”