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Searchers Find One Missing Hiker Alive, One Dead

March 22, 1995

CASTLE DANGER, Minn. (AP) _ Two hikers missing since Sunday were found Wednesday outside a state park in northeastern Minnesota, one alive and one dead.

Andy Blomgren, 18, was hospitalized and his condition was not immediately available. Lake County Sheriff Andy Haugan identified the dead man as Jeff Gulbranson, 20, and attributed the cause of death to hypothermia.

Gulbranson was found wearing only T-shirts and shorts, Haugan said. He said it is common for hypothermia victims to become disoriented and remove some of their clothing.

A third companion, 17-year-old Travis Hatzenbuehler, walked out of the woods cold, tired and disoriented Tuesday morning, saying he left his friends about dawn Monday to search for help.

A state park official, Jeanne Daniels, said rescuers found the two Wednesday outside the Gooseberry Falls State Park boundary.

She estimated that they were roughly three miles from the park headquarters and about 2 1/2 miles from where the three began their hike.

Hatzenbuehler said they drove to the park Sunday with plans to hike for the day, but got lost. They had a cigarette lighter but no food, he said. They were wearing heavy sweaters but inadequate clothing for spending nights outside in wet, melting snow with temperatures around freezing, he said.

``When I left them, they were in a panic and were ready to give up,″ Hatzenbuehler said. ``I went to get help because they couldn’t move.″

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