MOREHEAD, Ky. (WKYT) - After spending almost three hours looking for a missing Morehead State student, search crews found him unharmed.
Rowan County Emergency Management officials said they found 20-year-old Robert Vander Laan in a ravine just after 4 a.m. Friday.
"He was cold and dehydrated but thankfully uninjured," explains Rowan County Emergency Manager Ronnie Day. "He was very apologetic about the situation, he just lost his way."
Vander Laan, a junior at Morehead State University, talked to us about his experience. "I got finished with the gym and decided to go on a walk since it was nice out," explains Vander Laan. "I've been on the trail so many times before that I figured I can find my way to the end of the trail but I was wrong."
Officials told WKYT they received a call at 1:15 a.m. from Vander Laan's roommate that he was lost in the woods.
"I was trying to use my cell phone as a flash light but when my phone started dying I realized I need to call someone so I called my roommate. Right after that my phone died."
Police say Vander Laan's roommate called 9-11 and emergency crews were dispatched to search the ground and the water. "I was nervous no one would find me," explains Vander Laan. "I was so dehydrated from running I was trying to find the lake but was worried about missing the rescuers just in case they had pinged my last phone call."
The crews found Vander Laan on the west side of lake search about a mile away after yelling for him. He made verbal contact with the search crews.
"It's easy to get lost when you get in there. It's a heavily wooded area and it's incredibly dark and that's exactly what happened," said Ronnie Day, director of Rowan County Emergency Management.
Day said Vander Laan was slightly dehydrated, but uninjured.
"I was so worried no one would find me or hear my screaming, I'm lucky and grateful for everyone's help."
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