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Boy Found By Father After Spending Night In Uinta Mountains

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah – A 9-year-old boy was found by his father after spending a night alone in the Uinta Mountains.

Officials with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said Stratton Wright was reported missing early Thursday after hiking with his uncles and cousins west of Bear Lake, in the Henry’s Fork area of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

Nine agencies with high-tech searching tools hit the ground and sky searching for Wright around 1 a.m., and his father drove through the night from Idaho.

Summit County Sheriff Justin Marinez said after 10 hours of searching, it was Wright’s father who found the boy in a field Thursday morning.

“When he realized it was his father, he ran towards him and obviously, tears shed, a very emotional moment for both father and son,” Martinez said. “We have a father that shows up, hours later. I think that is a testament to a father-son bond because he was able to find him faster than us, the professionals.”

Search and rescue crews commended Wright’s outdoor survival skills, saying he might not have been found without them.

Wright told officers he knew he had to save his energy, so he made a fort in the woods and took a nap. He stayed in an open field, hoping he would be more visible — and he was.

Police said Wright only asked for a Twix candy bar after he was found, and he wanted to stay and camp with his family.

However, Wright and his father returned home to Idaho Thursday evening.

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