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ALBUQUERQUE – A father and son were headed home to El Paso, after being found Tuesday in the Gila National Forest, where they had been missing for days in extremely cold temperatures.
Robert Fritz, 55, and his son, Austin, 15, were found before noon Tuesday on the Little Creek Trail in southwestern New Mexico, state police search and rescue spokesman Peter Olson said.
Both suffered from hypothermia, he said. Hypothermia is a dangerous decrease in the body’s core temperature.
“The boy is in not quite as good a shape as the dad, but they’re going to make it,” Olson said.
A Border Patrol helicopter spotted the pair, landed and checked them out, he said.
The helicopter was too small to take both of them out at once, so the crew ferried the teenager to the trailhead incident base about nine miles away.
The helicopter returned for the elder Fritz, and the two were taken to Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City.
Olson said they refused further treatment and headed back to El Paso.
The pair had trekked into the rugged Gila on Dec. 27.