Idaho Dad Learns 9-Year-Old Son Is Missing in Utah Forest, Travels Overnight to Join Search and Locates Boy

The boy was found by his dad in the deep forest.
Summit County Sheriff's Dept.

An Idaho man who learned his young son had gone missing in a Utah forest jumped into action to join the search and ended up being the person who found him, officials said. 

Stratton Joshua Wright of Idaho, was hiking the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest with family Wednesday when he got separated from them at about 8 p.m., the Summit County Sheriff's Office said. The family called 911 to report the 9-year-old boy missing about 9:45 p.m.

As crews searched the area through the night, they were having no luck until the child’s dad stepped in to find his son.

“When dad found out that he was missing he came in from Idaho last night. He arrived at the command post at about 3 a.m., checked in with the search and rescue command and then made a 5 mile trek to where they were camping and started his own search,” Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez said in a news conference Thursday afternoon. “He was actually found by his own father.”

The sheriff said that the dad was determined to find his son safe and sound.

“We have a father who shows up hours later and I guess that’s a testament to a father-son bond because he was able to find him faster than we were as the professionals,” he explained and credited the “parent’s intuition” as what led him to the child.

The sheriff said that after the boy realized he was lost and it was getting late, he wanted to “conserve energy,” so he opted to take a nap.

“Instead of continuing his journey throughout the night he chose to lay down and take a nap for the night so he could get up and be energized in the morning,” Martinez said.

When the boy was found Thursday, he asked for a Twix bar.

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