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Reporter Cathy Frye found alive in Texas

by Chad Day, Chelsea Boozer | October 6, 2013 at 2:55 p.m.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter Cathy Frye was found alive but dehydrated Sunday afternoon after being reported missing in Big Bend Ranch State Park on the west Texas border with Mexico, park officials confirmed.

Frye, 43, went camping with her husband, Rick McFarland, in the state park on Tuesday after being forced to leave neighboring Big Bend National Park when the federal government shut down.

On a hike Tuesday, the couple became lost in the unfamiliar state park after venturing off a trail. They spent the next several days wandering in the park with only small amounts of food and water.

On Friday, Frye and McFarland decided to split up because Frye had decided she couldn't go any farther on foot.

McFarland, a photographer for the newspaper, was able to reach a ranger station later that evening.

But when he and rangers returned to where he had left his wife, they couldn't locate her.

The next morning, the park started a search and rescue effort that grew to nearly 100 people and included dogs and helicopters. She was located by rescuers just before 1 p.m. Sunday and airlifted to a hospital in El Paso.

Frye has won numerous awards as an investigative reporter.

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