A remote trailhead in Wyoming was the scene of celebration and and emotion as an anxious father was reunited with his three daughters who had been missing in the wilderness for days.
"It's a happy story," Rachel Levitz, an official with Teton County, told The Independent. "The girls have been reunited with their father at the trailhead where their car was found."
More than 60 people had been involved in the search for the sisters, experienced hikers who set off on a camping trip ten days ago and who failed to return. They were making use of helicopters, horses and tracking dogs.
The three young women - Megan Margaret Andrews-Sharer, 25, of Milwaukee, 22-year-old Erin Andrews-Sharer, 22, of Columbus, Ohio, and Kelsi Andrews-Sharer, 16, also of Columbus, were experienced backcountry trekkers. They apparently spoke to a US Forest Service employee before embarking on their trek.
On Thursday morning, Teton County Sheriff's Office posted a message on its Facebook page to say the three women had been found.
“At 10.00am approximately 40 minutes ago, a helicopter spotted three individuals matching the description of Megan, Erin, and Kelsi Andrews-Sharer near the top of the divide between Horse Creek and Little Horse Creek in the Gros Ventre Wilderness,” it said.
“The helicopter landed and confirmed it was them. They’re tired, cold, hungry, but otherwise healthy and happy to be on their way out. Their location was approximately seven miles west of the trailhead where their car was found yesterday.”
Agency spokeswoman Lori Iverson said the sisters had set off on June 28 and were scheduled to be in Chicago on Tuesday. The alarm was raised when they did not return.
"It’s very easy, even for experienced people, to get off course and make a wrong turn. So we simply suspect that the girls made a wrong turn and are looking for an egress out, maybe ending up in a location other than where their vehicle was.”
Officials said the women’s vehicle was found Wednesday at a wilderness trailhead in Bridger-Teton National Forest, about 25 miles south east of the resort town of Jackson. The area has mountains climbing more than 11,000 feet, including Antoinette Peak.
The sisters had been members of the United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, and Megan Andrews-Sharer had worked there until recently.
Office manager Karen Seward said: "We have just heard that they have been found. They are safe, but hungry and cold."Reuse content