WANAQUE, N.J. -- A 24-year-old man with medical issues who got lost in the woods without a coat for six chilly hours Monday was rescued after a Wanaque detective tracked his cellphone and an Oakland colleague found him.
Loved ones became worried when they returned to their Wanaque home to find the family dog -- whom the man often takes on hikes in the woods -- but not him Monday afternoon, Capt. Kenneth Fackina said.
Although they reached him on his cellphone, he "couldn't say where he was," the captain said. So they dialed 911.
Wanaque Sgt. Keith Spillane notified borough firefighters for a personnel assist, the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department for K9 tracking, the NJ State Police Aviation Unit to assist with an aerial search and the Ringwood, Oakland and state park police, Fackina said.
Meanwhile, Detective Charles Sahanas contacted the man's cellphone carrier.
"It was believed he had entered a wooded area near Stephens Lake Road in Wanaque that leads to Ramapo State Park land sometime around 2 p.m. but that he may not have been properly dressed for hiking," Fackina said.
Average temperatures for Monday in West Milford were around 40 degrees but dipped below freezing at one point.
Sahanas obtained GPS coordinates that were sent to searching units, the captain said.
Around 8:20 p.m., Oakland police found him in an area between Route 287 and Ramapo Lake, he said.
He was taken to a local hospital, Fackina said.
"Patrols indicated he suffered from exposure issues but appeared to be in good health otherwise," the captain said.
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