Miranda Balduf, the sister of Fort Worth hiker Joshua McClatchy who went missing last weekend, described in a Facebook post Saturday morning the most beautiful words she said she has ever heard:
“We have him.”
McClatchy, 38, was found Friday night in the mountainous Caney Creek Wilderness area of western Arkansas, the Polk County sheriff confirmed to the Star-Telegram’s media partner, WFAA-TV. He had gone missing shortly after starting his hiking trip on May 31 in Oklahoma, which was in part timed to his birthday last Sunday.
Search and rescue teams found him Friday night when they spotted his flashlight, WFAA-TV reported. He was transported to Mena Regional Health System in good condition but dehydrated, according to ABC News, and his family joined him there.
No one at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Arkansas was able to speak Saturday morning.
Balduf, who said over text message Saturday morning family members were too exhausted for phone interviews, said in the Facebook post she wanted to thank all those who searched the rugged terrain for McClatchy. She also thanked those who kept hope alive on social media.
“People give up without hope,” she said in the post. “You all helped us have hope.”
She also said in the post that McClatchy had closed his eyes and would finally try to get some rest.
Friday marked the seventh day authorities were searching for McClatchy, who was on what’s called the Buckeye trail.
The Fort Worth waiter had told his mother in his June 1 text to send help, but noted he was calm, Balduf said. McClatchy’s roommate shared with his relatives a checklist for the hike he had prepared, which authorities used to determine what supplies he might have had with him on the trail.
They compared what was inside his car, left behind at the trailhead, to the items on the list.
McClatchy grew up in Fort Worth and moved to Arlington when he was in sixth grade. He attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
He lives in Fort Worth and works as a waiter at Uncle Buck’s Brewery & Steakhouse in Grapevine.