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Lucky! Autistic Boy Found After Getting Lost in Woods Twice in Five Years!

(United States Geological Service-Lyn Topinka photo)
(United States Geological Service-Lyn Topinka photo)

Someone is definitely looking out for this boy!

Multhomah County, OR sheriff’s report an autistic teenager who was lost while hiking in the Columbia River Gorge near the Franklin Trail was found early Sunday morning.   16-year-old Alex Irvin became separated from his hiking party Saturday afternoon.  He was spotted around 8:30am Sunday near the Nesika Lodge, which is located some 1,800 feet above the river. He had become separated near an area called Ponytail Falls.  An overnight chopper search by Oregon National Guard Search and Rescue crew failed to turn up any sign of him, but the following morning he was seen outside the lodge and was brought inside by other campers.   The overnight temperatures had dipped into the 20’s. Authorities say based upon where he was found, he had traveled at least 7-8 miles off course from where he had gone missing, quite a distance for someone hiking through rough wooded forestland.

Five years ago, Irvin had also become lost near Mt. St. Helens  August 2nd, 2008.  He and his father had been hiking on trails near Amboy, WA when they decided to split up and take separate trails that would lead them to the same destination point.  Sheriff’s were called in when the boy failed to show up, but he was later found August 4th in good shape.

His parents say despite his mild autism, he usually has a good sense of direction, and is very aware of survival skills needed to weather long periods in the outdoors, but they now are considering how much independence they give him when it comes to pursuing the boy’s love of spending time in the outdoors.

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