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Rescued hiker in California used sun-warmed rocks for heat

June 30, 2019
This image provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department shows 73-year-old Eugene Jo. Searchers have found Eugene Jo, a hiker who has been missing in the mountains north of Los Angeles for a week. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A hiker who went missing in the mountains north of Los Angeles survived by wrapping himself with a jacket and towel and staying by sun-warmed rocks for heat, authorities said on Sunday.

Janet Henderson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue told KCBS-TV that Eugene Jo, 73, stayed alive for a week by getting close at night to rocks that warmed by the daytime sun and drinking water from a creek.

“He got in close next to the hot rocks because it is very hot up there and those rocks do heat up and that’s how he kept himself warm at night,” Henderson said.

Jo heard rescuers’ voices on Saturday and yelled for help, she said. He was taken to the hospital and later released.

Jo went hiking with a group to the 8,000-foot (2,438-meter) summit of Mount Waterman on June 22 when he became separated from them. More than 70 people were searching for him in the mountains Saturday, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Taylor.

Jo’s daughter Grace told KCBS-TV in a statement that her father was home and resting and grew emotional when he learned how many people were out looking for him.

“We’re still barely comprehending the extent of this miracle,” she said.

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