Group lost during UTV ride found by Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

KLONDYKE – A road trip through the desert south of Aravaipa Canyon on a couple of Polaris Rangers ended up being more harrowing than initially thought for a party of two men, two children, and a dog.

The group, including a man with his two children, ages 14 and 9, and another man headed out the morning of Sunday, Aug. 26 traveling down Rug Road to Mammoth and only expected to be gone for roughly three to four hours.

The group, including a man with his two children, ages 14 and 9, and another man headed out the morning of Sunday, Aug. 26 traveling down Rug Road to Mammoth and only expected to be gone for roughly three to four hours.

According to a relative, the group made it to Mammoth at about 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 27, and had gassed up and purchased some supplies at a Circle K.

The group then set out to return home, but as of the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 28, had not made it back. At about 8:11 a.m. on Tuesday, a relative called the Graham County Sheriff’s Office and notified them of the situation and advised all of the group’s cell phones appeared to be depleted.

The Graham County Search and Rescue team was mobilized and the GCSO also notified the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team of the situation. Pinal County said they would fly a helicopter in the area to search for the missing group.

Graham County Dispatch advised the last known usage of any of the group’s cell phones was at 8:14 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 27 and relayed the latitude and longitude of where the call was made to Pinal County.

Later the same day, the Pinal County SAR helicopter located two Polaris Rangers in the wilderness of Pinal County with the occupants waiving at them. The helicopter team believed the occupants to be the missing group from Graham County but was unable to land their helicopter in the area. Pinal County then sent SAR members on the ground to the group and confirmed it was the missing group from Graham County and successfully rescued them.   

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