Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter Cathy Frye, who had been missing in the Big Bend region of Texas, has been found, a person who answered the phone at a number listed as photojournalist Rick McFarland’s business. Frye and McFarland, a photographer for the Democrat-Gazette, are married. Frye is alive, but her condition is unknown.
A spokesperson in the Presidio County, Texas, sheriff’s office said a State Police helicopter was en route to Big Bend. Big Bend is closed because of the government shutdown, but there is a command center at the park where park and county personnel are working. The park police number goes unanswered. The sheriff’s spokesman said he would provide an update when he could.
Frye, 43, is a general assignment reporter at the Democrat-Gazette.
UPDATE: A Twitter feed from U.S. Rep. Pete Gallegos, who represents that part of Texas, said the search had been in Big Bend Ranch State Park, a huge, remote and rugged state facility. He described it as “rough country” and reported later on the multi-agency search that found her. He said she was being airlifted to Alpine, Texas.
UPDATE II: The Democrat-Gazette is now reporting that Frye and her husband had been camping in the national park until it closed Tuesday on account of the federal budget debate. They moved to the state park and became lost while hiking Tuesday on unfamiliar trails with only a small amount of food and water. On Friday, the newspaper reported, they decided to split up because Frye couldn’t go farther. McFarland reached help at a ranger station that evening, but couldn’t find Frye when they returned to the spot. A search started Saturday morning. The newspaper account said she was dehydrated when found about 1 p.m. Sunday and taken to a hospital at El Paso, not Alpine, as the congressman tweet had indicated.
UPDATE III: Here’s an extensive account from a Texas newspaper. Despite the federal shutdown, a Border Patrol horse team took part in the search. Texas game wardens, Presidio County sheriff, Texas Department of Safety and others were among the 37 people who participated in the search.
She was reported in stable condition Monday in the El Paso hospital.