Mother, 3-year-old son found safe after getting lost overnight in Silver Falls State Park

Mother, 3-year-old son rescued at Silver Falls State Park - Marion County Sheriff's Office photo

SALEM, Ore. – A mother and her 3-year-old child were found safe Monday morning after getting lost overnight in Silver Falls State Park, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies were called out about 3 a.m. Monday on reports that Josie Chisum, 24, of Salem, and her 3-year-old son were lost in the park.

They went hiking in the park at about noon Sunday with Chisum’s boyfriend, 25-year-old Joshua Dixsen.

Officials say that sometime during the hike the group became disoriented and lost. The couple decided that Chisum would wait under a tree with her son while Dixsen walked out to find help.

"We're lost; we're not going to get out of here; we're going to get eaten or we're going to die freezing to death," Chisum told KATU about her thoughts that night.

Search crews found the mother and son at about 8:30 a.m. on the Rim Trail inside the park.

"I cried tears of joy and also tears of anger because the pathway was like a hundred meters behind the tree where we were," Chisum said. "It was right there the whole entire time."

Dixsen received minor injuries in the ordeal including frostbite and blisters, but he should recover.

More from Marion County Sheriff’s Office:

Experts with our Search and Rescue recommend you always carry enough supplies to survive at least 24 hours even when setting out on a day hike. These items should consist of food, water, first aid supplies, warm clothing and instruments for navigation. Often times in these remote areas cell coverage is not an option so hikers should be prepared to treat emergencies until rescuers can arrive.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Oregon State Police, Oregon State Parks, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Mountain Wave Search and Rescue, Marion County Sheriff’s Office Team 18 and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Jeep Patrol.

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