Family of missing man hoping for the best as search continues, saying “If you’re in trouble, find help.”

Joshua Clauson went missing after he went into the Croatan National Forest with his brother-in-law Saturday morning, but got separated.
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 7:40 PM EDT
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NEWPORT, N.C. (WITN) - It’s been five days since Joshua Clauson went off on a walk through the Croatan National Forest with his brother-in-law, but got separated and never made it out.

“There are a lot of people out here that are praying for him,” said Ronald Clauson, Joshua’s father. “There are a lot of people out here thinking about him.”

Police further pieced together a timeline Wednesday to Joshua’s disappearance. Both men went into the forest at around 10:00 Saturday morning. At a time unknown to law enforcement, the duo got separated.

Around 5:30 is when Clauson’s brother-in-law was able to make it out of the woods. WITN learned Wednesday that he was picked up by a vehicle driven by a friend on Nine Foot Road.

Then, police said they went back to their mobile home where they discovered Clauson did not make it out of the woods and called 911.

“He made his way back home, Josh was not there,” said Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck. “He didn’t know Josh hadn’t already made it home.”

Buck added the duo entered the forest with no supplies, including cell phones, but that the pair was familiar with the area.

A track, Buck said, that matched the footprints of both men was discovered to narrow the 15 square mile search area down closer to Newport.

“He basically has to go off of his memory and what he experienced and where he thought he may have been in this area,” said Buck of Clauson’s brother-in-law.

It’s become a painful week for Clauson’s family, who wants this nightmare to end.

“If you’re in trouble, you need to get some help. Look for it,” said Ronald Clauson. “If you’re not in trouble, I don’t get it.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office at 252-728-8400.

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