June 20, 2018
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Lost S.C. hiker emerges after search is prepared

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff

BIG MOOSE TOWNSHIP, Maine — As game wardens began gathering information Thursday for a ground search for an overdue hiker on the Moose Mountain Trail system, the hiker found her way out.

Laura Kyber, 21, of Columbia, S.C., was thirsty but otherwise in good condition when she arrived back at the starting point of her hike.

“It was just a really good outcome,” Warden Jim Babiarz of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said, noting that Kyber had not been dressed for the damp day nor was she familiar with the area.

Kyber had been hiking with her mother, Diane Newman, 47, of Columbia, S.C., and Jordan Branson, 27, of Northampton, Mass., on a trail on state-owned land when Kyber told her mother she didn’t feel well and would return to their vehicle, according to Babiarz.

The trio had left the trailhead at about 2:30 p.m. intending to take a quick hike, Babiarz said.

Babiarz said Kyber had walked out to the vehicle, then decided to return to the trail to meet up with her mother and friend. Kyber apparently became confused on the network of trails in the area on her return.

When the mother and friend arrived at the vehicle, Kyber was nowhere to be found. The couple waited awhile for Kyber to return, and when she had not by 4:30 p.m., they called the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department.

Three game wardens arrived at about 5 p.m. and started gathering information to begin a ground search. A search from the air also was being organized when Kyber walked from the trail, according to Babiarz.

He said the trail branches off into several locations and Kyber apparently took the wrong trail. She had walked more than two miles when some hikers pointed her in the right direction, he said.



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