Phenix City man lost in woods for days shares survival story

Phenix City man lost in woods for days shares survival story

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - An East Alabama man is safely reunited with his family after four days of being lost in the woods.

Caleb Hanson, 21, was reported missing Wednesday, Sept. 2, when his family said they thought he may have gotten lost in the woods. 

"I was praying for food, but I just drank out of the river," said Caleb.

Caleb said he was just going to explore in the woods and suddenly he couldn't find his way out.

Once reunited with his family late Sunday, Caleb was immediately taken to Midtown Medical Center but did not have any major injuries just a lot of bug bites and a case of trench foot. 

During the four nights of being lost, Caleb says he started to get worried that he was going to be lost for months.

"At the end of our block, we had no idea that there was a huge property when we went searching, the lady there told us that it's 750 acres." Elizabeth Hanson, Caleb's mother, said.

Elizabeth says although she was concerned her son's medical condition played a factor in him getting lost, she thinks anyone could get lost in a wooded area that large. 

"When he was 16, he just had a sudden onset of intrusive thoughts and OCD behaviors that had never showed up before," said Elizabeth, who was in Israel when she got the call that her son was missing.

She flew back to the country immediately and was joined by several churches and community members all willing to help find her son. 

"We are just so thankful for all of the help," Elizabeth said. 

Caleb found his way out of the woods and was walking down Highway 280 by the Taco Bell in Phenix City when he was recognized by a woman who says she had just seen his face on a missing person flyer.

The woman called out Caleb's name and when he responded she took him to his family.

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