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Photo helps track down missing hiker

CALIFORNIA: A hiker who went missing in the mountains of California was rescued with the help of a photo he sent to his friend moments before his mobile phone died.       

According to the details, Rene Compean, 46, was hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California on Monday when he got lost.

After realizing that he was in trouble and he had no clear path toward a way out, Rene Compean clicked a photo of his feet dangling over a cliff near the Mount Waterman area. He sent the picture to a friend and later sent a message informing him that he was lost and his phone was dying.

His friend reported him missing around 6 pm and sent the photo to the authorities who posted it on social media in hopes that experienced hikers could help identify the location.

“The hikers legs (in the picture) look dirty possibly from a burn area on the mountain,” authorities wrote. He had his phone’s location feature off which meant he couldn’t be traced easily.

Benjamin Kuo, a selfie and satellite nerd, came across the picture and set himself to work.

“I’ve got a very weird hobby, which is, I love taking a look at photos and figuring out where they’re taken,” Kuo told NBC Los Angeles.

Kuo figured out coordinates of where Rene possibly was and passed on the crucial bit of information to investigators.

“This was a good clue and it was worth investigation,” Sgt John Gilbert with LASD’s Crescenta Valley Station said. “So that’s when we asked our Air Rescue 5 to go and check out that area and see if they saw anything, lo and behold, we were able to find him.”

Rene was rescued on Tuesday afternoon. When he met Kuo, he told him, “I crazy appreciate what you did … I really don’t know if I could make it there another day. It was just so cold.”

Kuo said that he was able to track down the location based on the background below Rene’s shoes in the picture.



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