State News

Volunteers Press Search for Boy Scout Missing in Wilkes County

Posted March 17, 2007 10:38 p.m. EDT
Updated March 18, 2007 10:47 p.m. EDT

— Searchers from local, state and federal agencies combed woods and trails near the Blue Ridge Parkway on Sunday for a 12-year-old Boy Scout who apparently wandered away from his troop's campsite Saturday afternoon.

David Bauer of the Blue Ridge Parkway administration said personnel from Wilkes, Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga counties, the Parkway and a Highway Patrol helicopter were involved in the search.

The missing Scout was identified as Michael Auberry of Troop 230 in Greensboro.

The troop had begun the campout Friday evening, hiking about 1.5 miles down a logging road from a parking area on federal land, Bauer said. On Saturday, Auberry was part of a group of Scouts who remained in camp while another group went hiking, he said. The entire troop had eaten lunch together, and Auberry as reported missing about 3 p.m.

 

Searchers late Saturday found part of Auberry's mess kit less than a mile from the camp, he said.

"At this point we're looking at every possibility," Bauer said. "The most probable thing is that he walked away, went out in the woods and went to investigate."

He said he's not aware of Auberry having any arguments or problems with the troop or his family.

A command post had been established about six miles from the community of McGrady, Bauer said.

Debbie Hayes, Michael's mother, said her boy was wearing a red heavy outercoat, an inner fleece coat, had gloves and a hat in a pocket, and was wearing a dark blue Tar Heels baseball cap.

Michael's 5 feet, 4 inches tall, weighs 110 pounds, has curly brown hair and wears wire-frame glasses, she said.

Bauer said searchers were moving off the trail and into rugged terrain Sunday afternoon, which will continue until dark because of the danger involved in searching the area at night.

Auberry was wearing pants, a shirt and a coat. The Sunday afternoon temperature at Mount Airy, about 25 miles northeast of Traphill in northwest North Carolina, was in the low 40s, the National Weather Service said.

The camping area is near the Alleghany-Wilkes county line, authorities said.