Rescuers almost drove over the one-word message: ‘Help’

Kathryn "Katie" Ogle (Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office)

HAYDEN, Idaho – “If we didn’t come up here she could have been dead.” Such is the realization of a 15-year-old boy who helped rescue a lost teen in Idaho over the weekend.

Ryle Gordon and stepdad Chris Trumbich had traveled to Hayden for a hunting trip. Driving toward their last trail around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the hunters noticed something: the world “HELP” scrawled in the dirt, per KREM. Trumbich wondered if the message could’ve been left by another hunter, but Ryle recalled passing a command post set up for a missing teen some four miles away, reports KHQ.

Per KREM, more than 60 search and rescue crews had been on the lookout for 19-year-old Katie Ogle, who authorities say has the cognitive ability of a 10- to 12-year-old. She had been reported missing Nov. 1.

The hunters turned around to notify the crews, who returned to the area with them. Some 30 yards past the scrawled message, Ogle was spotted alongside a small fire and a sleeping bag that had been taken from the hunters’ cabin.

She looked “scared she was going to get in trouble … for being in the cabin,” but “we’re just happy [she’s] alive,” Ryle says. “Right place right time,” Trumbich adds, per KHQ, noting he nearly drove over the teen’s plea. Ogle was taken to a hospital for treatment but is said to be in fair condition.

(A woman’s phone call saved a hiker near death.)

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