Anthony Mancuso vanished Sunday while hiking with his family
COWLITZ COUNTY — UPDATE: The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office reported that Vancouver 16-year-old Anthony Mancuso was found safe at 9:15 p.m. on Monday.
Cowlitz County Search and Rescue personnel located Mancuso’s shoes approximately 150 yards from where he had last been seen, and continued to search in that direction. A drone sporting an infrared camera also reportedly assisted in locating the teenager, who had been missing for almost 32 hours.
More than 100 people had been combing the area near the Hummocks Trailhead along Spirit Lake Highway, after Mancuso vanished while returning from a hiking trip with his family.
Family members said Anthony Mancuso briefly stepped off of the trail, reportedly to go to the bathroom, but then never returned. Family members searched unsuccessfully before finding enough signal to reach out through social media.
Mancuso did not have any food or water when he left the trail, and was wearing only shorts and a short-sleeved shirt.
A search was conducted both on foot, and through the use of a drone with heat-sensing capabilities Sunday evening.
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was also brought in to conduct a search overhead, but darkness forced the search efforts to be suspended at 1 a.m. on Monday morning.
More help was brought in on Monday morning at 8 a.m., including another helicopter and a U.S. Air Force rescue squadron from Portland. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office also brought in a bloodhound to help with efforts on the ground.
By early Monday afternoon, the Cowlitz County Department of Emergency Management called off a request for volunteers, saying nearly 100 people were assisting with the search, both on the ground and in the air.
“At this time, due to the volume of family/friend volunteers, only specialized SAR teams are being contacted to join the search,” the agency said via Facebook. “Plans are in place to secure teams for a 3rd day of searching if necessary. We understand that people want to help, but it is important for the safety of all involved that helpers do not self-activate.”