Missing Hiker Found in North Cascades National Park Service Complex

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Date: September 22, 2007
Contact: Kinsey Shilling, 360 854-7240

A missing hiker from Seattle was found on Friday in the North Cascades National Park Service Complex after surviving on wild berries and stream water for six days.

Mary Hyde Wingfield, 31, left Seattle last weekend to do some solo hiking in the area east of Darrington, 2.5 hours northeast of Seattle. Authorities were notified of her absence when she did not arrive at work Monday morning. Her vehicle was found Wednesday in Diablo, another hour northeast of Darrington.

Wingfield stated that road closures altered her original destination. She hiked the Stetattle Creek Trail near Diablo Dam Sunday but became disoriented and spent the next five days trying to get back to her car while surviving the elements without overnight or cold weather gear.

Wingfield stated that she found shelter under trees and slept on fallen leaves and needles while covering herself with bark and branches. She was able to build a fire the first two nights, which helped with the low evening temperatures and some rain.

Wingfield left several clues along the creek that helped direct searchers, including several hand written notes and a grocery card. She made an effort to be visible and was located by helicopter searchers at 2:30 p.m. Friday, five miles from the trailhead. A helicopter flew Wingfield to Diablo where she was treated and released by local Paramedics having suffered from minor cuts, bruises, and exhaustion.

Approximately 40 searchers, four helicopters, and five dog teams were involved in the search over the three day period Wednesday through Friday. Searchers, half of which were volunteers, were from Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish Counties, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the National Park Service.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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