Man missing in Croatan National Forest found alive

Published: Jun. 6, 2021 at 4:10 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - A man who was missing in the Croatan National Forest for eight days was found alive on Sunday, authorities said.

Joshua Clauson, 20, who was reported missing on May 29, was found walking out of a wooded area near a home on Rams Horn Road in Newport. He was spotted by the homeowner, who called Carteret County Communications Sunday morning.

Clauson spent 8 nights lost in the Croatan National Forest after he didn’t return from a walk with a family member last Saturday.

Multiple crews had been searching for five days in the air and on the ground before it was called off on Thursday.

Sheriff Asa Buck said they are excited Clauson made it out of the woods safely, considering the weather the past week.

“Some days and certainly overnight was cold and chilly,” Buck said. “And then the other days, it was fairly warm. So anyone being exposed to the elements like that with very little, no shelter, very little in the way of clothing to deal with the cold weather and then it rained a few times as well, so that’s certainly very concerning for anyone to be out in the forest overnight, a few days, much less for eight days. It might be a miracle.”

Clauson, who was found with sunburns and in rough condition, was transported to Carteret Health Care, where he’s expected to be okay.

Buck said Clauson told detectives he was able to subsist off of rainwater.

Buck, who had been sheriff for almost 15 years, said this is the longest they’ve tried to find someone who was lost in the woods.

Carteret County Sheriff’s Office thanked all those who assisted and shared information related to the search.

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