LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Two young cousins were found alive Friday, nearly a day after they wandered away from a campground in the Red River Gorge area of Kentucky and spent the night missing in rugged terrain while rescuers mounted a massive search for them in the popular recreation area.
The boys, ages 5 and 7, were located about a mile from their campsite, about 20 hours after they went missing, Kentucky State Police Trooper Joe Veeneman said. More than 100 searchers had combed the wooded, ravine-filled area looking for the boys.
The trooper didn’t have immediate details on their condition.
One boy was identified as 5-year-old Michael Esposito of Batavia, Ohio. His cousin, 7-year-old Adrian Ross, is from Indiana, the trooper said.
The boys disappeared Thursday evening from Koomer Ridge campground in the popular recreation area in eastern Kentucky.
The boys had gone to the campsite with the younger boy’s father and a grandfather of both boys, Veeneman said. The men were setting up the campsite when the boys disappeared, he said. The men and boys had gone ahead of other family members who were to join them, he said.
Search teams combed the woods through the night, the trooper said.
Overnight lows had dipped into the mid-50s.
At least nine search and rescue agencies were assisting, the trooper said. Searchers were using dogs to try to track the boys. A helicopter flew over the area Thursday evening as part of the search.
The local sheriff’s office was notified about 6 p.m. EDT Thursday that the boys had disappeared, Veeneman said, adding the terrain is treacherous in the area where the boys disappeared.
Red River Gorge is a heavily wooded, rocky destination popular with hikers, campers and rock climbers.