Spirit Lake Missing Teen

(Courtesy: Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office/Family)

COWLITZ COUNTY, WA (KPTV) - A teen missing for 30 hours in the wilderness near Mount St. Helens has been found alive, according to deputies.

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said 16-year-old Anthony Mancuso was found by search crews at around 9:15 p.m. Monday. He walked out on his own with the searchers Monday night.

Search and rescue crews reported finding Mancuso’s shoes about 150 yards from where he was last seen. They continued to search in the same general direction and found him Monday evening.

They said Mancuso was whistling, which helped searchers find him. Deputies said Mancuso's shoes came off when they became stuck in the mud. 

Mancuso told deputies that when he initially walked off, he came to the edge of a hilltop, lost his footing and tumbled down a hill. After regaining his composure, he was startled by an animal and ran into a bush, where he stayed for a long time before climbing a tree. He stayed in the tree overnight.

The teen said he ate pine needles during the night, and that coupled with a lack of water caused him to lose his voice, so he could not call out. That's why he whistled when he heard search crews in the area. 

Deputies said Mancuso was cold, tired and scraped up, but otherwise OK. 

“Thank you to everyone who helped to search and all of you who offered to help,” according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

At about 3 p.m. Sunday, deputies responded to a missing person call near the Hummock's Trailhead off of SR-504.

Mancuso was hiking with his mom and 13-year-old sister when he left the trail to use the restroom, but he did not rejoin his family.

He did not have any supplies or a cell phone with him, according to the sheriff's office.

Crews searched for Mancuso on Sunday but did not locate him. The search resumed Monday morning and into the evening, when he was found.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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(4) comments


How did he lose his shoes?

Frederick Fukov

Glad there's a happy ending..and hopefully lessons learned. I was afraid that it might have been something worse, given the details of the first report.

Frederick Fukov

Uhh..that's not good. That sounds like a possible cougar sitch.

Roberto Estrello Demar

It's no disgrace to turn around and be "lost." But it's mighty inconvenient and embarrassing.

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