A 15-year-old boy’s youthful ears are credited with finding a hiker from Folsom who had been missing for nine days in the Sierra National Forest.
Kobe Pole, a sophomore in high school, was part of a search team that found 62-year-old Miyuki Harwood on Saturday in a rocky, remote area near Fresno.
“I couldn’t believe my ears,” Kobe said. “And then I heard it again.”
Harwood suffered several broken bones after falling, and even though she couldn’t walk, she was able to crawl.
In fact, reports indicate Harwood crawled two miles to a creek. She had a water bottle and a whistle, which proved to be key to her survival.
Search and rescue teams from a number of agencies scoured by ground and in the air looking for Harwood.
“So they yelled out just as we always do, yelling, trying to get her attention,” said Lt. Kathy Curtice, of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department. “She heard it, and she blew her whistle back.” Searchers said even Harwood wondered if she would ever be found.
“She was concerned that she might not have been found,” said EMT Bill Schimpf. “She had talked about helicopters flying above her head in the early days where she was at.”
Harwood’s family was driving up to the command post when they got the call. “When I called them, they were beyond excited,” Curtice said. “There was screaming and crying in the car. I wanted to tell them to pull over and stop the car because they were driving.”
Harwood was on day six of an eight-day hike with a Sierra Club hiking group when she decided to go off on her own.
Rescuers said Harwood didn’t have any food, just the bottle of water with a filter and the will to survive.
“She was a bit emotional when we arrived on scene,” Schimpf said. “I was a little emotional because it was really an important thing to find her.”
Harwood was taken to a Fresno hospital to be treated for her injuries.