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THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 2007
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Auburn hunter found safe after getting lost in swampy woods

MARVYN (AP) — A hunter who got lost in swampy Lee County woods was found in good shape after spending a cold night alone as a team of searchers combed dense brush and crossed creeks and hills.

Jamie Austin Pierce, 22, of Auburn, was found about 3 p.m. Tuesday after he made his way out of the woods and spotted a friend's all-terrain vehicle. The friend wasn't there, but Pierce stayed with the vehicle until a conservation officer came upon it and found Pierce asleep.

He had gone missing Monday evening, prompting about 30 volunteers and local officers to search for him on foot, in all-terrain vehicles and a Public Safety Department helicopter with thermal-imaging equipment."

"He had taken a wrong turn and actually gotten deeper," said Pierce's father, Roger Pierce. "He's just fine and we are delighted with this outcome."

Pierce had walked with a friend into a wooded area near Lee Road 38 just after 3 p.m. Monday. They agreed to meet back at their vehicles before dark, but there was no sign of Pierce when his hunting partner got back.

He called Pierce's family after waiting for more than an hour. An organized search began later. The search team quit for the night about 2:30 a.m. and resumed in daylight.

"He said he heard the helicopter, but it was such a thick swampy area, he could never get to a clearing where he could see it or it could see him," Roger Pierce said.

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Information from: Opelika-Auburn News

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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