Missing boy found alive


    By Kathryn Jackson

    Four days after his disappearance in the Uinta Mountains, 11-year-old Boy Scout Brennan Hawkins was found alive and well Tuesday by a volunteer on a dirt bike.

    Hawkins was found, dehydrated but in good health, around noon near Lily Lake, five miles from the climbing wall where he was last seen. Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said Hawkins didn?t talk much but he wanted food and water, and asked to see his mom.

    ?The heavens are not closed, prayers are answered, and children come home,? said the boy?s mother, Jodi Hawkins, to reporters outside Primary Children?s Medical Center in Salt Lake City where her son was admitted Tuesday afternoon.

    The Associated Press identified Forrest Nunley, a 43-year-old house painter from Salt Lake City, as the volunteer who first saw Brennan. Nunley said the boy was ?standing in the middle of the trail? all muddy and wet.?

    After his rescue, Hawkins reportedly ate granola bars and drank water and asked a volunteer if he could play a video game on the volunteer?s cell phone.

    Hawkins also complained to rescuers he was cold; he was wearing the same nylon shorts, blue sweatshirt and tennis shoes he had since Friday.

    Nunley said the boy had seen some of the search horses earlier Tuesday but was too afraid to approach them, possibly disoriented after four days without food or water.

    The volunteer who discovered Hawkins initially did not want to talk to the press or be identified as a hero, Edmunds said.

    ?I see him as a hero,? he said.

    The thousands who have scoured the wilderness looking for Hawkins the past four days are all heroes, he continued, crediting their help and the calm weather to the successful find.

    Search teams identified Lily Lake as a ?low probability area? for finding Hawkins because of the distance from the Bear River Boy Scout Camp where he was staying with his friend. To arrive at the area, Hawkins had to scale a steep mountain ridge and walk several miles.

    Since the Bountiful boy?s disappearance Friday night, thousands of volunteers ? almost 3,000 on Father?s Day alone ? hiked the rugged wilderness about 50 miles east of Kamas in Summit County. Volunteers were given GPS trackers and assigned grid areas to scour. Search efforts centered on the Boy Scout camp and the search radius expanded each day until he was found.

    Among the volunteers was Kevin Bardsley, father of 12-year-old Garrett, who disappeared last August in the Uinta Mountains not far from where Hawkins was lost. The search for Garrett was called off nine days after his disappearance.

    Edmunds said the rescuers were ?prepared for the worst,? with the chance of Hawkin?s survival diminishing each day.

    He said Hawkin?s reunion with his parents Tuesday was ?the most touching moment he had ever seen in his life.?

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