About Coconino County

About Coconino County

Encompassing 18,661 square miles, Coconino County, Arizona, is the second largest county in the U.S. but one of the least populated. Our county includes Grand Canyon National Park, the Navajo, Havasupai, Hualapai and Hopi Indian Reservations, and the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world. Elevations range from 2,000 feet above sea level along the Colorado River to 12,633 feet at the summit of Mt. Humphreys in Flagstaff.

March 18, 2009

Missing Boy Found

Yesterday, having just returned from a 17-hour round of searching for the missing 7-year old, I saw an update on Twitter from a Flagstaff news reporter that Michael Sandoval had been found and was in good condition. What a huge relief!

Check out this news story with videos from Channel 3, including a video of Michael explaining how he survived the cold night alone, wearing just a t-shirt and jeans. Apparently, he slept in the open, which was surprising to me; I'd assumed a child would be more likely to tuck himself under a tree or in some more protected spot, partly out of fear and also to keep warmer. Not so in this case.

I also read in the Arizona Daily Sun report that Michael saw and heard searchers (us) on Monday night but didn't call out because he got scared.

I'm still waiting to learn where exactly Michael was found. I'll be curious to know if my field teammate and I were near, because we did drive slowly through a number of open areas, calling, honking (we were afraid the siren on the Sheriff's vehicle would frighten him, so we didn't use it) and searching with the spotlight. I always like to know where a lost person is eventually found and, if possible, the route they took to get there.

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