Officials in Great Smoky Mountains National Park have located a teen who was reported missing 11 days ago after an off trail off-trail hike in the park’s remote southwest corner.
According to local news reports, Austin Bohanan of nearby Blount County, Tennessee, walked out of the park on his own today, emerging near a remote backcountry area known as Tabcat Creek around 2:30 P.M.
He’s was then transported to a nearby hospital in Maryville, Tennessee.
The 11-day search for Buchanan was headed up by rangers on the park’s search and rescue team, officers with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Authority and individuals with the Backcountry Unit Search and Rescue team (BUSAR). All told their were 19 active members of the search party.
“By limiting the number of searchers in the area, rangers have the best chance to find Bohanan quickly,” a news release from the park service said. “Dog teams and trackers can be hampered by additional people in the area when searchers are looking for signs of hiker travel.”
Bohanan was reported missing by his stepfather on Sunday, August 13, two days after he last saw him in the off trail area the two were hiking in. Stay tuned for further updates to this story as more details become available.