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Teenager Found Safe

A teenager was found safe early Monday morning after being lost in the national forest for about seven hours.

At least 100 people were involved in the search for 17-year-old Aspen Lane of Mountain View.

Stone County Sheriff Lance Bonds said Aspen and her mother, Amber Despain, and a friend were hiking in the forest, having entered from Hwy. 5 North around 4:30 Sunday afternoon. Aspen had walked ahead and was waiting for her mother to catch up, but got separated. Her mother and friend walked back to their vehicle and called the sheriff’s office at 6:30 p.m.

Stone County officers, state police, Mountain View Fire Department and city police, Allison-Sylamore Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service, Arkansas Game and Fish, members of Flatwoods Baptist Church and other volunteers joined the search. The state police helicopter, and dogs from the Calico Rock prison were also used.

Around 1 a.m., Forest Service District Ranger Jim McCoy and law enforcement officer Joel Phillips heard Aspen’s dog barking and found her just north of Blanchard Recreation Area.

Bonds expressed his thanks to all the volunteers who assisted in the search.

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