Hiker Who Went Missing on Arkansas Trail for Six Days is Found Alive and Safe

The terrifying ordeal is finally over for the family of Joshua McClatchy, who went missing for nearly a week after setting out on a hike at Arkansas’ Buckeye Trail in the Caney Creek Wilderness.

On Saturday, McClatchy’s sister, Miranda Balduf, shared an emotional note on Facebook, announcing that her brother had been found alive.

“‘We have him.’ These are the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard spoken,” she wrote, as she thanked Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer as well as “every single” person who helped search for her brother.

“This terrain is unforgiving, and you all were RELENTLESS in your efforts,” Balduf continued. “It was spectacular seeing headlamps approach from the dark distance, and then seeing Josh’s face as the strongest men and women carried him out.”

Concluding her note, she added that “Josh is doing beautifully” as she rejoiced that after the lengthy ordeal he would be able to “FINALLY rest.”

John Obeidin, McClatchy’s roommate, also thanked the rescue team for all of their hard work.

“Every single person who participated in this rescue operation is incredible,” he wrote. “He’s definitely heading to the hospital next, then home.”

With the use of a helicopter, authorities were able to locate McClatchy on Friday, but it took the rescue team an additional hour to reach him on foot, ABC News reported, adding that it took about four more hours for the rescuers to carry him back to safety.

Sheriff Sawyer told the outlet that McClatchy, 38, who was found suffering from dehydration, was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Maria Pasquini