Family searching for missing hiker in Arkansas

A missing hiker from Texas is the focus of a search in Arkansas, CBS Dallas/Fort Worth reported. Joshua McClatchy, 37, was last seen Saturday on the Buckeye Trail in the Caney Creek Wilderness Area southeast of Mena.

The Caney Creek Wilderness area is a remote and rugged mountainous area with numerous hiking trails, some 133 miles west of Little Rock, Arkansas. Polk County Sheriff D. Scott Sawyer said McClatchy called his family and told them he was lost.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service sent a team in on the Buckeye Trail but were unable to find him. Searchers did find McClatchy’s car at the Buckeye Trailhead.

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“We will do whatever it takes to find Mr. McClatchy and get him home to his family. We will continue searching and we will find him. The area we are searching today is extremely tough to negotiate. It’s rocky, it’s steep, and it’s thick,” said Sawyer.

Joshua McClatchy seen in an undated photo from Facebook. Miranda Balduf via Facebook

On Sunday, teams from the Sheriff’s Office, Forest Service, OEM, Arkansas Game & Fish and the Mena Fire Department conducted a more extensive search of the Buckeye and Caney Creek trails. Still, no McClatchy.

Teams returned Monday after conducting an aerial search.

Additionally, more searchers from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas Game & Fish, U.S. Forest Service and Arkansas State Parks were brought in to replace fatigued volunteers Tuesday morning as the search continued. Sawyer said the focus of Tuesday’s search was Short Creek, an area just north of the Buckeye Trail.

Sawyer said that while lost hikers are common in the area, most are located within a few hours.

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