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Missing man found alive after 13 days in eastern Oregon wilderness

Richard Towell Jr. was given food, water, and dry clothing, and treated for exposure.
Credit: Baker Co. Sheriff
Richard Towell Jr.

BAKER COUNTY, Ore. -- A man is recovering after sheriff's officials say he survived nearly two weeks in the eastern Oregon wilderness.

Baker County Sheriff’s Office deputies and members of a search and rescue team found 42-year-old Richard Towell Jr. in his car at the Clear Creek Trailhead Sunday. Towell had been missing since May 28.

Rescuers gave Towell food, water, and dry clothing. He was evaluated for exposure symptoms.

Emergency personnel had launched an extensive search for the missing man after his vehicle was discovered at the trailhead near Halfway June 6. Searchers used ground teams, ATVs, horses and a canine to scour the area by ground, and deployed aircraft and drones to hunt by air.

The search teams contended with steep, rocky terrain along with fallen timber and snags. In addition, sheriff's deputies checked the trailhead where Towell's car had been left each day, in case he was able to make it out of the woods on his own.

Towell survived 13 days in the wilderness before finding his way back to the trailhead. The sheriff's office thanked the search teams as well as the state and county agencies that helped search for the missing man.

Towell was in stable condition Monday afternoon at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City, a Saint Alphonsus spokesman told KTVB.

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