BAXTER STATE PARK — A hiker missing for three days in Maine’s Baxter State Park has been found injured.

Park Director Jensen Bissell told the Bangor Daily News Michael Hays of Stow, Ohio, was found about a mile and a half from where he was last seen on Friday.

There’s no immediate word on Hays’ condition or how he was found.

1:29 p.m.

BAXTER STATE PARK — Scores of searchers combed Baxter State Park today to find a 41-year-old Ohio man who was last seen on a  trail connecting the two tallest peaks in the park.

At midday, searchers spotted tracks in a snowfield below the south rim of the park’s Mount Katahdin and were planning to follow them to see if they lead to Michael Hays, of Stow, Ohio.


“If it pans out, at least it gives us an idea where to look that’s much more specific,” said Park Director Jensen Bissell.

The search for Hays began Saturday after he did not sign out on a trail register after he was seen by other hikers Friday afternoon on the Knife Edge Trail, a narrow rocky ridge between 4,919-foot Pamola Peak and 5,267-foot Baxter Peak. His rental car was found in a parking lot.

Bissell said Monday it was the largest search for a missing person in the park since the early 1970s.

Hays is an experienced hiker who was well-equipped for a day hike. His brother, Paul, who lives in Eastlake, Ohio, said Hays makes several hiking trips a year, including some in the Appalachian Mountains.

Some of the trips are with groups, others are solo adventures.

“Usually we find out about these things after the fact,” Paul Hays said.


Hays said searchers have been updating him on their progress, describing areas on the mountain where crews are looking. But that’s all the information he has.

“Obviously, we’re concerned,” he said. “It’s really just a wait-and-see situation.”

Officials were hoping to use aircraft to assist in the search, which is being hampered by the rough terrain. They flew Saturday, but it was too windy for them to fly Sunday.

On Sunday, a Search and Rescue Team dog handler assisting in Michael Hays’ rescue suffered a serious knee injury. The searcher, Irene Morey, was airlifted to the hospital by a Maine National Guard helicopter.

Officials have not discounted the possibility that Hays chose to hike in a different area and is unaware that people are looking for him. His rental car has been immobilized to prevent him leaving the area without speaking with officials.

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