A hiker who went missing in Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawson County on Wednesday evening, was located alive and well the next day by a Hall County K-9, authorities said.
After multiple items belonging to the missing hiker were discovered off the trail, K-9 Officer Bella with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office was able to lead searchers to the missing man, who was lying down about 300 yards off the Hike Inn Trail, early Sept. 10.
Hall County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jeremy Prickett said the man’s wallet gave his K-9 partner, Bella, a scent, and they were able to find the hiker after roughly 45 minutes.
He was found with no water and a dead cellphone just over a mile from the main road, according to a Facebook post by the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.
“We’d like to recognize the incredible work of Deputy Gearin who spotted the items well off the trail and the prompt assistance of the Hall County K9 Team, which possibly saved this man’s life,” the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office said.
Prickett said the track took them down into a swampy area. Footprints in the mud let them know they were in the right path, he said.
“He’s been in the woods all night, so he was a little dehydrated, but he walked most of the way out,” Prickett said.
Teams with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia State Patrol Aviation team and Dawson County Fire and Emergency Service searched through the night on Wednesday with no luck, until the man’s last known location was found through phone records on Thursday morning.
Congrats to HCSO Sgt. Jeremy Prickett, Lt. Brian Pearson and Bloodhound Bella for the potentially life-saving find in Dawson County this week. Thanks to @dawsonCOsheriff for mentioning their part of the team effort!https://t.co/ODjVPBEXad pic.twitter.com/McZMH1X8sm— Hall County Sheriff (@HallCountySO) September 11, 2020
“We were never so excited to find our missing person alive and well, looking forward to our arrival,” the Facebook post said. “This truly remarkable teamwork led to the most positive outcome possible.”
Prickett and Bella have stayed busy since their work on the missing hiker, assisting in two more operations Friday, Sept. 11.
DCN Editor Alexander Popp and Times reporter Nick Watson contributed to this report.
This article originally published in the Dawson County News, a sister publication of The Times. It will be updated.