Missing mushroom picker found safe

RANDLE, Wash. -- A 79-year-old man who became lost while mushroom picking with his family has been found safe.

Search crews found Dapeng Yang not too far from the base camp searchers had set up near Randle. He is in good condition and was taken to Morton General Hospital for treatment of dehydration, said Lewis County sheriff Chief Deputy Stacy Brown.

Yang was separated from his family Sunday morning as they picked mushrooms along Forest Service Road 26. Family members waited for him at their car and searched for several hours before calling police Sunday afternoon.

Brown said the man had a backpack with water and was an experienced hiker, but was not equipped to spend the night outdoors, where overnight temperatures dropped to about 32 degrees.

Luckily, Yang was spotted Tuesday afternoon by search team walking near that forest road, just a mile from the base camp. Brown says they don't know why he did not hear or respond to search and rescue units blowing whistles and yelling his name. Yang was exhausted but did not have any signs of obvious injuries.

"This is an incredible ending," Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield said in a statement to the media. "Neither this man's family nor our Search and Rescue team gave up hope. Our teams worked tirelessly for the last 48 hours in hopes of finding this man alive. We are very pleased that the mission turned out in such a positive manner.”