Lost Hiker Found Safe: ‘It Was A Great Ending’
LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON – What began as an early morning hike in Little Cottonwood Canyon, turned into an overnight fight to survive for one hiker. In the words of one of the volunteers who found her on Friday, “this could not have been a better outcome.”
Few areas compare in beauty to the canyon and far fewer moments are as beautiful as when the family learned their loved one, Dawn Rohde, had been found alive.
“We were praying for this. Ever since yesterday,” Winnie Rohde, Dawn’s mother-in-law, said through tears.
The prayers began when 41-year-old Dawn didn’t return from her early July 4th hike.
“They asked what they could do,” David said of their friends and neighbors. “And we just told everybody they could just pray and pray and pray more.”
They did just that. And many neighbors then got to their feet and began searching for Dawn early Friday morning.
“We were remaining hopeful but we’ve been on a few of these before and so we were very concerned. Very concerned we were going to have another outcome,” Unified Police Sergeant Ed Twohill said.
Then after 3 p.m., Dawn’s neighbors Eric Passey and Greg Lassek “stumbled right into her just sitting in the river bank on the other side of the river.”
“It was a great ending,” Lassek said. “Couldn’t ask for a better ending.”
“I called the command center and said we found her,” Passey said.
“Having her found was cool,” Sgt. Twohill said. “It was really awesome.”
She was tired, thirsty and hungry, but amazingly–after more than 30 hours alone–Dawn was alive and soon headed back through the beautiful canyon to her family.
“So many people we know and love have all been praying for her and it’s such a blessing and a miracle to us,” Winnie said.
“First thing I want to do is just give her a big hug and just tell her how much I love her and how happy I am to see her again,” David said as he waited for rescue crews to transport her to safety by helicopter.
That reunion eventually came. And Dawn was seen greeting family and then waving goodbye as she and her husband drove out of the canyon.
“I just have a lot of mixed emotions and I just really appreciate everyone that helped out,” David said.
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