Hiker found alive, injured in Haywood Co.

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Julie Hays

HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C. — A hiker who had been missing for the past two days in the Shining Rock wilderness has been found, according to sheriff’s office officials.

Heidi Warren with the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office says Julie Hays, 49, was found alive before 7 p.m. on Monday.

According to Haywood County dispatchers, she was carried out just after 3 a.m. Tuesday and taken to Mission Hospital.

The Jonesboro, Tennessee, woman left a note on her vehicle saying she started her hike on the Art Loeb Trail at 10 a.m. on Saturday. On Saturday evening, her husband called authorities when she hadn’t returned.

Because of hazardous weather conditions, crews were about to call it a night when authorities say searchers on foot were yelling her name on the north side of Cold Mountain. That’s when she called out and was then found about 100 meters off trail in the Lenoir Creek area. Deputies told WHNS it took crews more than 90 minutes to reach her once Hays made contact with searchers.

Hays had suffered injuries and crews spent several hours getting her down from the trail and to a hospital.


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