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Deputies find missing 15-year-old hiker near Bisbee

Posted at 1:34 PM, Jun 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 16:29:03-04
Cochise County Sheriff's deputies have found a 15-year-old hiker who had gone missing near Bisbee.
 
Errol Baekeland left his home at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning to explore a new trail in the Mule Mountains. He says when he tried to turn back home he realized he had gone too far.
 
"It was pretty scary, no water, no food, and I was really tired already," said the teenager.
 
Errol called his father, Scott, on his cell phone at about 8:30 a.m. to tell him he was out of water. Scott says it sounded like he was out of breath.
 
Eventually, Scott could not get a hold of his son's cell phone anymore.
 
"As much as I didn't want to start that up I was like, what am I going to do but call 911," said Scott Baekeland.

Cochise County Search and Rescue along with Border Patrol were looking for the teenager. He was last seen east B-hill in Bisbee. The county's rescue helicopter flew over the area.
 
"I could see the helicopter that was looking for me, I kept waving to it but they couldn't find me," recalled Errol.
 
"I was afraid he'd pass out from the heat or something and that would be it" said Scott.
 
Errol says he would walk for about five minutes, then sit in the shade for a while, then walk for five minutes, and sit.
 
"To get water at one point, I cut open an agave plant and ate some of the pulp," said Errol. "I didn't know whether it tasted good or not, but I knew it was edible and I knew there was at least some moisture."
 
He says that helped a lot.
 
Eventually Errol found his way back to Hwy 80 near the old pit mine in Bisbee. A border patrol agent and sheriff's deputy found him and brought the teenager to the command center they set up for search and rescue. A medic checked the boy before they said he was good to go home.
 
Errol is now at home and doing well. He says he won't be exploring new trails any time soon.