Man missing in desert for three weeks survived on diet of frogs and roots
An autistic man survived in the desert for three weeks on a diet of frogs and roots, US authorities have said.
William Martin LaFever was discovered wandering in the Escalante Desert of southern Utah.
He had been missing for three weeks after attempting to walk from Boulder, Utah, to Page, Arizona - a distance of around 90 miles.
The 28-year-old, from Colorado Springs, told rescuers he survived by drinking water from the Escalante River and on whatever meagre food he was able to scavenge.
When rescuers found LaFever he was severely emaciated, and search and rescue workers said that he would not have survived another 24 hours.
It is thought that LaFever had travelled around 40 miles over at least three weeks according to estimates by the Garfield County Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Becki Bronson said: “It is some of the most rugged, unforgiving terrain you will find anywhere on Earth, jagged cliffs, stone ledges, sandstone, sagebrush, juniper.”
“Where William was hiking, there just isn't anyone out there,” she said. “There are no people. There are no towns.”
Following a search and rescue operation LaFever was taken to a local hospital by helicopter.
His current condition is unknown.
Search and rescue workers said it was remarkable that LaFever was spotted and rescued.
Mr LaFever had called his father on June 6 or 7 to inform his that he was hiking in the Boulder area with his dog, but that some of his hiking equipment had been stolen and he had run out of money.
His father had told him to hitch a lift to Page where he would send him some money.
However, LaFever decided to attempt to walk the 90 mile journey instead.
On the journey his dog abandoned him and LaFever began dumping his hiking gear until all he had remaining was the clothes he was wearing when he was found. The dog has not been seen since.
The phone call back in early June was the last time that any of the family members heard from LaFever. His sister reported him missing on Monday.
Deputy Ray Gardner, who took part in the operation to rescue Mr LaFever had fortuitously recently undergone a training course in search and rescue operations for people with autism.
The training had taught Gardner that autistic people are often naturally drawn to water.
The helicopter therefore focused on the Escalante River, where Mr LaFever was eventually spotted.
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...