BREWSTER COUNTY, Texas -- An Arkansas reporter is in stable condition at an El Paso hospital after rescuers airlifted her from Big Bend Ranch State Park, where she had been lost and stranded for five nights.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter Cathy Frye, 43, had been vacationing at Big Bend National Park with her husband, photographer Rick McFarland. On Oct. 1, the pair was forced to leave because of the federal government shutdown.
McFarland tells the newspaper that the pair then went hiking at the nearby state park and got lost. McFarland went off alone in search of help Friday. When he returned with rescuers, Frye was nowhere to be found.
Rescuers found her midday Sunday, severely dehydrated and lying in a valley. She remains at University Medical Center of El Paso.
According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, the park has 300,000 acres. A rescue team made up of State Park police officers, Texas game wardens, other game wardens assigned to the newly created Game Warden SAR Team, and volunteer TX SAR members helped find the woman shortly before noon.
Suffering from dehydration and exposure, she was evacuated from a remote area of the park by a U.S. Border Patrol helicopter and taken to the landing strip on the state park. From there she was flown by a Midland-based air ambulance to University Hospital in El Paso where she was reported in fair condition.