After nearly two weeks in the Wyoming wilderness, Jonathan Urbanski, 41, was found safe Thursday after part of his long-awaited family reunion.
Mr. Urbanski was hiking with his brother Brian Urbanski, 40, on Oct. 2 when they lost a group of companion hikers in the South Rim of Zion National Park, which spans across Utah and Arizona.
Mr. Urbanski’s wife, Annette Urbanski, said her husband was supposed to join the original group, but instead decided to hike alone to a stream nearby that would lead him through the valley.
“He walked away for one route and he ended up getting separated from his brother,” she said. “It was incredibly scary.”
Mr. Urbanski was spotted by dozens of search and rescue personnel in late afternoon on Thursday. He was rescued and was reunited with his family around 6 p.m. in a room at the Glenwood Springs Hospital, according to a post on the city’s park department Facebook page.
On Oct. 8, hikers rushed to help after hearing Jonathan Urbanski’s cries. The two men hiked back to look for the missing pair, and then got separated.
The hikers managed to find the first man, but failed to find Mr. Urbanski after a series of failed searches, including one in which air support was used, according to news reports.
On Thursday, deputies from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office found the second man hiking alone and called for air support, according to Ken Johnson, a spokesman for the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
Air support was called in by the Alpine Rescue Group, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Grand County Search and Rescue, according to a statement from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
On Oct. 8, deputies also searched with dogs but were unable to find Mr. Urbanski, who is diabetic and has a history of diabetes, according to a spokeswoman for the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office deployed a bloodhound through the park on Oct. 11, but the trail had disappeared into rugged terrain.
More than 100 personnel from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Garfield County Search and Rescue, Garfield County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, South Canyon Search and Rescue, Grand County Search and Rescue, Douglas County Search and Rescue, the Utah Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Park Police have participated in the search, Mr. Johnson said.
Annette Urbanski said the ordeal had brought her and her husband closer together.
“Our relationship wasn’t super close,” she said. “It really just solidified our love for each other.”
The Huffington Post reports Jonathan Urbanski was in town visiting Grand County from the Allentown, Pennsylvania, area. Annette Urbanski said he was visiting with her for a few days. They lost touch with each other during that time.