Boy Scout Missing In Rugged Country In North Carolina State Park

Sunday, March 18th 2007, 2:14 pm
By: News On 6

TRAPHILL, N.C. (AP) _ Search teams on Sunday combed rugged mountain terrain for a 12-year-old Boy Scout who vanished on a group hike.

About 10 scouts and their adult leaders of Troop 230 from Greensboro noticed the boy was missing when they returned to their campsite Saturday afternoon after hiking in Stone Mountain State Park, said Saundra Lewis, communications officer for the Wilkes Rescue Squad.

``It's very rugged country,'' Lewis told the Winston-Salem Journal. ``It's right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are creeks running through there. It's been raining lately so they're a little swollen, and the trail that they're on actually crosses the creek 15 times.''

The boy, whose name was not released, was wearing pants, a shirt and a coat. The Sunday afternoon temperature at Mount Airy, about 25 miles northeast of Traphill in northwest North Carolina, was in the low 40s, the National Weather Service said.

Stone Mountain State Park covers nearly 13,750 acres.

Search crews included volunteer firefighters, National Park Service staff and rescue squads from the state park system and Alleghany and Wilkes counties. A Highway Patrol helicopter equipped with an infrared sensor that can detect body heat was sent to assist the search.