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Update: Christmas Miracle/Missing Hiker Found Alive in Butte County

By Kelli Saam
Published On: Dec 24 2012 03:56:04 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 24 2012 08:04:10 PM CST
Robert Marmon After Rescue Photo

Hiker Robert Marmon after his rescue

MAGALIA, Calif. -

A hiker missing for more than three days during a winter storm has been found alive on Christmas Eve.  He was found Monday in remote area of Butte County near the Philbrook Reservoir.

Butte County Search and Rescue Public Information Officer Kevin Lucero said Robert Marmon, 27 of Chico, was spotted and rescued at 12:18 p.m. on Monday.

Marmon was found in a draw, at the northeast end of the Philbrook Reservior. 

A search and rescue crew performed a short haul rescue, placing Marmon in a harness hanging under the helicopter with a rescuer.  They were then flown a short distance to a clearing where the helicopter could land, and Marmon could be checked out.

Marmon spoke to the media at a news conference about four hours after his rescue.  He said he broke into a cabin to stay warm Friday night.  He ended up walking three miles in six feet of snow.  After all that, he suffered only mild frostbite.

"It was pretty close, I was pretty sure my friends and family would find me," said Marmon Monday afternoon.  "The rescuers did a great job, they were right on me flew right over me.  Man, it's hard to say, because I think a pretty good survivalist.  I'm very glad because I was cold, very cold."

Marmon was reported missing Friday night when he failed to show up at a meeting place after hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  He left the Inskip area Wednesday, and intended to hike the trail for two days.  He arranged to be picked up by a friend in the Belden area on Highway 70 on Friday.  But friends became concerned when Marmon never showed on Friday.

The search began Saturday morning.  But rescuers had a difficult time navigating the area which was covered with more than five feet of new snow.

The search continued Sunday, and resumed Monday with a Butte County Sheriff's Dept. helicopter performing grid patterns.  That's when Marmon was spotted.