Rene Compean, a hiker who went missing in the San Gabriel Mountains, has one man’s “very weird hobby” to thank for saving his life.
Compean was reported missing on Monday night and rescue crews searched the mountains in southern California throughout the night to no avail. But by Tuesday late afternoon, the hiker was located after the sheriff’s department sent out his photo to members of the media and posted it on social media platforms, People magazine reported Thursday. (RELATED: Man Falls 95 Feet To His Death At Death Valley National Park)
Benjamin Kuo saw the photo and knew the area where the missing hiker was for rescue crews to find him. (RELATED: London Police Officer Arrested In Connection To Missing Woman)
“I’ve got a very weird hobby which is, I love taking a look at photos and figuring out where they’re taken,” Kuo told KNBC.
“You don’t think that sitting behind a computer and looking at a picture and saying, ‘Oh, it looks like that might be where he is,’ would lead to a person being rescued,” he added. “I was hoping I didn’t send them on a wild goose chase, and then they’d get mad at me.”
One Man’s ‘Very Weird Hobby’ Is the Key That Leads Searchers to Missing Calif. Hiker https://t.co/b526Xf0YcE
— People (@people) April 15, 2021
In the photo, the hiker’s legs can be seen covered in dirt while wearing blue sneakers. One can also see the view below him of rocks and mountain terrain.
“SAR Team members were able to communicate with a member of the community who is also an avid hiker in the Angeles National Forest,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department shared in a statement.
“He shared information he knew about the area pictured in our posts,” it added. “Our Air5 started to search in the area of Twin Peaks East and Triplet Rocks where they flew low, and close to the mountain. Through the fog they found Rene safe. He was airlifted to meet with our rescuers and pose for a quick picture (included).”
Compean was airlifted to safety and did not need to be hospitalized.