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69-year-old Oregon man found alive after 17 days lost in national forest

A search and rescue crew located Harry Burleigh Sunday, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said; he was walking and in stable condition.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Oregon — After 17 nights lost in Umpqua National Forest, a 69 year-old man was found alive Sunday, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post Sunday. 

Harry Burleigh, of Roseburg, was reported missing at 10:15 pm on Friday, May 7, after he failed to return home from a camping trip in the Toketee area. 

Burleigh has been expected home the day before, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said. 

The morning of Saturday, May 8, Burleigh's vehicle was located at the lower trailhead to Forest Service trail 1500, which leads to Twin Lakes. Searchers figured Burleigh, a fisherman, tried to fish at the lakes before going home.

Then, last weekend, Burleigh's fishing gear and a shelter were found in the area of Calf Creek. 

Douglas County Search and Rescue focused on that area today, with help from other SAR crews from around the region. 

At about 3:00 p.m., a team of searchers from Jackson County SAR located a shelter southwest of the one found last weekend. 

The searchers called out to Burleigh -- and he responded. 

Burleigh was walking and complaining of minor pain, but in stable condition, police said. 

𝐇𝐀𝐑𝐑𝐘 𝐁𝐔𝐑𝐋𝐄𝐈𝐆𝐇 𝐅𝐎𝐔𝐍𝐃 𝐀𝐋𝐈𝐕𝐄 𝐀𝐅𝐓𝐄𝐑 𝟏𝟕 𝐃𝐀𝐘𝐒 𝐈𝐍 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐖𝐈𝐋𝐃𝐄𝐑𝐍𝐄𝐒𝐒 After 17 nights in the wilderness, 69 year-old Harry...

Posted by Douglas County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, May 23, 2021

A helicopter hoisted Burleigh from his location and took him to a waiting Lifeflight helicopter, which transported him to a hospital.

"This was the outcome we all have been looking for in this case," said Brad O'Dell of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. "It is because of our determined Search and Rescue Teams, and the partnerships we have with other SAR teams from around the state, that Mr. Burleigh has been reunited with his family this evening."