UPDATE: Missing boy talks about surviving wilderness

Posted: Updated:
Boy spent night alone in woods
azfamily.com

UPDATE: FLAGSTAFF - A 7-year-old boy who spent a freezing night alone in the woods after becoming separated from a group of hikers northwest of Flagstaff has been found alive.

Coconino County Sheriff's Office spokesman Gerry Blair says search crews found Michael Sandoval around noon Tuesday. Blair says Sandoval apparently had wandered off and got lost in the area of Red Mountain, off U.S. 180, about 3 p.m. Monday.

Blair said Sandoval is in good condition.

Blair said the hiking group consisted of three adults and 10 clients from the Coconino Community Guidance Center.

ORIGINAL: The following is a news release from the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.

FOREST LAKES -- Seven year old Michael Sandoval who was on a group outing in the area of Red Mountain has been missing since 3:00 p.m. on Monday March 16, 2009. Coconino County Sheriff's Deputies who initially responded to the call for service learned that Michael Sandoval was on a group outing consisting of 3 adults and 10 clients from the Coconino Community Guidance Center. Michael Sandoval became separated from the group while hiking in the area of Red Mountain off of Highway 180 close to mile post 247.

Michael Sandoval is described as a 7 year old Hispanic male, 4' in height, last seen wearing a black ball cap with the image of a white bear on the front, a medium to dark blue shirt with the word baseball on the front in white letters, blue jeans, and skate board shoes.

Search efforts have included an air scent dog, 2 Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue Helicopters equipped with night vision and Forward Looking Infrared, 18 searchers on foot and in vehicles form the Coconino County Sheriff's Office and the Coconino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit.

Motorists traveling on Highway 180 in the area of Red Mountain are asked to be aware of this missing child and to watch for him. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Michael Sandoval is asked to call the Coconino County Sheriff's Office at (928) 774-4523 or 1-800-338-7888.