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CAP Helps Find Overdue Hunter

March 11, 2022

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Civil Air Patrol’s Cell Phone Forensics Team helped Custer County, S.D., searchers find a hunter who did not return home when expected Tuesday. With bitterly cold weather and snow likely, the safety of the missing man was a serious concern.

“The CAP Cell Phone Forensics Team is able to identify the most recent time a cell phone made contact with any cell tower,” said Col. Michael Marek, CAP’s South Dakota Wing commander. “Although the missing man was in an area without consistent cellular service, CAP provided likely areas and a suggested priority search area, based on his phone’s most recent pings. The man was found safe close to the search area we suggested.”

According to reports, the hunter’s vehicle had become stuck in the snow and he stayed with it overnight, running the engine occasionally to stay warm. He was eight miles from the vehicle, walking out, when searchers found him.

Law enforcement and other state and local agencies seeking CAP’s assistance should contact the state emergency operations center (EOC). CAP is the civilian auxiliary of the Air Force, with responsibilities that are part of the USAF’s support to civil authorities to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.

With close to 400 members in South Dakota and units in Brookings, Custer, Miller/Faulkton, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Spearfish and Tea, the wing can deploy its six aircraft, ground teams and small search drones to assist in disaster response and other support to local, state, tribal and federal agencies.

Tagged As: Search and Rescue

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