|William Martin LaFever|
An autistic man has been rescued from the remote Escalante Utah desert after surviving at least three weeks alone in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius by eating roots and frogs.
William Martin LaFever, 28-years-old, was found emaciated and unable to walk, more than a month after he was last heard from. He was discovered by a police helicopter, sitting on the Escalante River and waving feebly.
LaFever’s father told police that his son, who is autistic, had called him to say he had hitchhiked with his dog to Boulder, Utah, but had run out of money and some of his stuff were stolen.
The father, John LaFever, promised to wire some money to Page, Arizona, about 70 miles away across the country, but William did not call back and apparently tried to make the trip in large part on foot.
LaFever, who is from Colorado, told rescuers his dog had escaped, had run out of food and all he had left were his clothes and shoes. He dug up roots and ate the river frogs for food.
He is believed to have hiked about 50 miles in intense heat, through 300 feet deep canyons and some
of the most remote landscapes of Utah, said sheriff's spokeswoman Becki Garfield.
The area is commonly used by schools to teach skills for survival in wildlife, and temperatures have risen above 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius in recent days.
Authorities said they do not know exactly how long LaFever was left alone in the desert, but that it was at least three weeks. Family members reported him missing a month after the last time he spoke to his father.
Rescuers say he is lucky to be alive.