BLUE RIDGE, Ariz. - After a 911 call from a woman to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office disconnected on March 7, a five-day search and rescue operation for two lost people ensued in the Hutch Mountain area.
According to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, during the initial 911 call, the woman was only able to give her name before the line disconnected. The operator did not know what the woman was trying to report.
Later that day, CCSO received a call from the mother of the initial 911 caller, who said her daughter and a friend were lost.
The mother told deputies her daughter called her around 11 a.m. on March 7 and said she and her friend, Ryan Long, left Meteor Crater that morning and the vehicle they were driving got stuck and disabled.
The daughter, 35, told her mother she could see a lake and asked her mother to come pick them up. Her mother drove out to the Lake Mary and Mormon Lake area south of Flagstaff and called the sheriff's office when she couldn't find them.
According to CCSO, a deputy called Ryan Long's cell phone and spoke to him, trying to figure out their location. Long was uncooperative with the deputy, provided little information and hung up on the deputy, CCSO said.
CCSO made attempts to contact Long again, but his phone was turned off. Deputies learned later in the investigation Long had an arrest warrant and would probably avoid law enforcement.
After pinging Long's phone, search and rescue crews received two possible locations.
On March 8, search and rescue crews searched roads accessible south and east of Meteor Crater but did not find them or their vehicle.
New information later in the search showed possible locations of Long's phone ranging from the top of the Mogollon Rim to south of Mormon Lake. It also showed activity in an area known as Bargaman Park near Happy Jack.
CCSO said search efforts were hindered by deep snow, muddy conditions and storms. Vehicles could only travel in the area with special tracks on the tires. Storms and cloud cover prevented the use of helicopters.
A Coconino National Forest crew found the woman alive around 3 p.m. on March 8. She was suffering from mild hypothermia. She was located on a forest road almost five miles north of Bargaman Park. She was transported out of the forest in a vehicle with specialty tracks and transported to Flagstaff Medical Center, where she was later released.
Search and rescue crews continued the search for Long on Saturday, March 9, now utilizing planes and helicopters to search. On Sunday, Long's truck was located stick in the mud on a closed forest road, just under four miles from where the missing woman was found.
On Monday, March 11, Long's body was found after crews were able to track his prints in the snow. CCSO said there are no signs of foul play and it is believed Long died of exposure.
Deputies think the two traveled south from Meteor Crater, through the Chavez Pass area and then west on closed forest roads to where they got stuck east of Hutch Mountain.
Below is a map showing locations mentioned by CCSO in their search and rescue operation: