BAXTER COUNTY, Ark. (PRESS RELEASE) – Two lost hikers in the Ozark National Forest in Baxter County were located and rescued overnight.
At approximately 9:05 PM Tuesday, May 19th, the Sheriff’s Office was notified that two women from Big Flat, Arkansas had gone hiking in the Ozark National Forest in the area of Cook Road, which is a Forest Service Road. A family member had been looking for the two women, a mother and step-daughter, but had not been able to find them.
Sheriff’s Deputies and other responders were dispatched to the area. It was learned that 49 year old Vickie Higginbotham and 30 year old Sheila Honeycutt had left their residence in Big Flat earlier in the day. They had managed to text Vickie Higginbotham’s husband saying that they were lost and needed help in the area of Cook Road and Push Mountain Road. Mr. Higginbotham said he had been searching the area since about 5:00 PM. He could hear the women yelling, but could never find them.
Personnel from the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Forestry Service, United States Forestry Service, Lone Rock Volunteer Fire Department, and Baxter Regional Medical Center all responded to the area to assist with the search. The Sheriff’s Office helicopter was also launched for the search.
Personnel in the helicopter were able to see a fire that the women had built and were then able to guide personnel from the U. S. Forestry Service to their location. The women were then brought out of the forest unharmed at approximately 2:00 AM this morning.
The vehicle the women had been in was said to have been involved in a crash somewhere in the forest. U. S. Forestry Service personnel will attempt to locate the vehicle this morning.