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Ohio man found alive on Mt. St. Helens

Hiker had been missing since Aug. 9

Searchers have found have found a hiker missing since Aug. 9 when he left to go to Mt. St. Helens. Matthew Matheny, a 40-year-old from Warren, Ohio, was found alive up on the flanks of Mt. St. Helens. Photo courtesy of Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office
Searchers have found have found a hiker missing since Aug. 9 when he left to go to Mt. St. Helens. Matthew Matheny, a 40-year-old from Warren, Ohio, was found alive up on the flanks of Mt. St. Helens. Photo courtesy of Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office

Searchers have found a hiker missing since Aug. 9 when he left to go to Mt. St. Helens. Matthew Matheny, a 40-year-old from Warren, Ohio, was found alive up on the flanks of Mt. St. Helens. He was being transported by helicopter to an area hospital according to a press release issued by the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office just after noon on Wednesday.

A later release reported that Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson indicated that Matheny was conscious and talking when rescue teams found him. He has been transported by Life Flight to Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver. His parents were at the base camp when he was found and they were on their way to the hospital.

Ohio resident Matheney was last seen at about 7 a.m. on Aug. 9 when he left to go to Mt. St. Helens. Searchers found him alive Wednesday on the flanks of Mt. St. Helens. Photo courtesy of Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office
Ohio resident Matheney was last seen at about 7 a.m. on Aug. 9 when he left to go to Mt. St. Helens. Searchers found him alive Wednesday on the flanks of Mt. St. Helens. Photo courtesy of Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office

Searchers had new information on Tuesday that gave them hope as they continued on Day 4 of  the search Matheny. Search coordinators had results from cell phone records that suggested that Matheny’s cell phone was in the general area of the Blue Lake Trail several miles up toward Mt. St.  Helens. They were also contacted by people who drove up to the base camp from Vancouver Monday to tell them that they saw a man wearing grey colored clothing in the area that is is consistent with the cell phone data. He was found in that general area by members of the Volcano Rescue Team out of Skamania County.

Search leaders also utilized special  “virtual” search software that is a probability-based program that is intended to give searchers places to look. This modeling tool suggest that searchers look an area, which is similar to where the cell phone data, and that one witness saw someone.

Sheriff Nelson was in contact with Sheriff Dave Brown in Skamania County as part of the area that was being searched is in Skamania County.

Search teams, including K9 search teams, drone operators, and other types of search resources have all been coordinated through the Washington State Department of Emergency Management.  

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office began the search for the missing man on the Blue Lake Trail off of Forrest Road 81 near Mt. St. Helens. Matheney was last seen at about 7 a.m. on Aug. 9  when he left to go to Mt. St. Helens. He was driving a local friend’s gray Subaru Outback. Matheny’s friends filed a missing person report with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office when he failed to return.

On Aug. 11, a Skamania County Deputy George Barker located the Subaru Outback at the Blue Lake Trailhead in Cowlitz County.  The vehicle was unoccupied.

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