Missing Hiker Rescued After Man on Twitter Found His Location From a Photo of His Feet

Missing Hiker Found

When Rene Compean found himself lost during a hiking trip in the San Gabriel Mountains, he took a picture of his feet. The photo showed his boots dangling over rocks near Mount Waterman, which is about 50 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Compean sent the image to a friend and said that he was lost. Not only that, but his cell phone was losing battery. What could’ve been a tragic and deadly situation, however, had a happy ending; a stranger on the internet was able to identify the lost hiker’s location, and search and rescue teams found him safe and unharmed.

Compean was reported missing around 6 p.m. on Monday, April 12, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department got to work trying to find the site where the photo was taken. Unfortunately, Compean didn’t have his location data turned on, so that meant that they couldn’t track his whereabouts via the image. That’s when the authorities appealed to the public via social media. They shared the photo and wrote that Compean’s car was found near the Buckhorn Campground/Trailhead—but that was it.

From the photo and location description, Twitter user AI6YR—identified as Benjamin Kuo—was able to pinpoint Compean’s position using satellite imagery to view the Mount Waterman area. In a Twitter thread, he included coordinates using Google Earth and then forwarded his predictions to the sheriff’s office. Compean was found on the afternoon of April 13 by search and rescue teams.

“First and foremost I want to thank God for getting me thru this safe and sound home,” Compean said of the incident. “Also to thank all those who played a role in the search and locating me. Thank you all for your prayers and the collaboration with each other.”

On April 12, hiker Rene Compean got lost while hiking near Mount Waterman, about 50 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The authorities appealed to the public for help.

Twitter user Benjamin Kuo was able to identify the location using satellite imagery.

Thanks to Kuo, Compean was found safe and sound!

h/t: [PetaPixel]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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