Missing Women Found Alive and Well
The two women who were reported missing in Alaska's Denali National Park were located alive and well Wednesday morning. Nelson's mother recieved a cellphone call from her missing daughter, indicating that the women were well and in the Dry Creek area. Previous coverage of the incident can be found here.
"Abby Flantz and Erica Nelson have been found, alive and well," Kris Fister, a spokeswoman for the park, announced in a news release around 10 a.m. local time. "The families are here, and the young women will shortly be reunited with them."
Fister later issued a second news release in which she pulled back from the original announcement. Nelson's mother, who had arrived at Denali to assist in the search, received a phone call at 9:15 a.m. from her daughter, who reported that both women were "uninjured and healthy."
A helicopter was dispatched to pick up the women. The search began on Satuarday when the women did not show up at work at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge.
"The young women were asked to move to a highly visible area, remain in that location, make themselves highly visible and signal any helicopters that flew overhead," Fister wrote in the second release. Helicopters were dispatched to the area where authorities believed the women may be, but they have not yet pinpointed the backpackers' exact location. No additional cell phone contact has been made. Authorities originally said that the women were not carrying a cell phone.
Additional aircraft and ground crews equipped with dogs are scouring the revised search area.