Missing hiker and baby found safe in Jefferson National Forest

Published: Nov. 19, 2023 at 4:52 PM EST
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BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - A missing hiker and her baby have been found safe, after they were reported to be lost in the Jefferson National Forest in Botetourt County, according to the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office.

Just before 6 p.m. Saturday, family members called the Botetourt County Communications Center-911 to report their missing daughter and her infant child in the Jefferson National Forest.

Rescue teams began searching for the missing 25-year-old mother and her 8-month-old daughter on the Roaring Run Furnace Trail. The Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office, the Eagle Rock Volunteer Fire Department, Botetourt County Department of Fire and EMS, the Virginia Conservation Police and the Botetourt County Special Operations Team assisted in the search.

A search and rescue team found the mother and baby on the Hoop Hope trail, both in good health, around 9 p.m. Saturday, according to the sheriff’s office. They were safely rescued just after 11 p.m.

“We are extremely grateful for the combined efforts of our Drone Team and emergency services personnel,” Botetourt County Sheriff Matt Ward said. “Their collaborative approach ensured a successful rescue operation.”

The mother and baby were reunited with their family.

Officials are reminding hikers that the Hoop Hole trail is considered to be moderately difficult to navigate with challenging elevated terrain.