Local News

Kids 'in good shape' after night in woods

Posted June 25, 2009 5:36 a.m. EDT
Updated June 26, 2009 10:31 a.m. EDT

— Two children who were the subject of an Amber Alert Thursday have been found in the mountains of Mitchell County, according to news reports from the region.

Tina Tilley, with the U.S. Forest Service, told WLOS-TV in Asheville that siblings Alexander Lee Suddeath, 6, and Heidi Elizabeth Suddeath, 4, were found about a mile downhill on the Tennessee side of the mountain.

“Searchers that had been working with us last night and this morning through a gridded search located a shoe which led us in the direction of the children," she said. "It’s my understanding that the children are in good shape and they’re currently with rescuers. It’s going to be a while before we can get them out of the woods but they’re in good shape.”

Tilley said the rescuers might have to carry the children out of the woods, due to the rugged terrain.

Alexander and Heidi were hiking with their parents on Roan Mountain in Mitchell County near the Tennessee line on Wednesday. Their parents lost sight of them at about 2 p.m. while returning to a public parking lot on the mountain, according to authorities.

Temperatures dipped to the upper 40s Wednesday night and early Thursday, officials said. Rescuers said the children stopped walking at some point and slept beside a log.

The kids were given some Gatorade, Nutter Butters and an oatmeal pie and are expected to be just fine, authorities said.

Volunteers and authorities spent early Thursday looking for the children. Law enforcement closed the Rhododendron Gardens and surrounding trails during the search.

Tennessee Rep. Tony Shipley announced at 12:38 p.m., that the children had been found, according to the Bristol Herald Courier and WJHL-TV.