WEEKI WACHEE — Four teens who were reported missing Monday evening in the Weekiwachee Preserve were later found unharmed after an extensive search involving ground and air units.
The Hernando County Sheriff's Office reported that the father of one of the teens said his son had called him about 4 p.m. and said he and his friends were lost in the woods and could not find their bikes.
He also said that an adult with them, Russell Laux, had passed out. The teen said his cell phone's battery was losing power and the signal was lost.
Two more parents told deputies that their children were missing and presumably with their friends in the preserve, where they had said they were going camping on Sunday.
Laux's mother contacted his girlfriend who said that she had been with Laux and the others and that they had gotten lost in the woods. She said that Laux passed out and the others stayed with him while she made her way home.
A search involving several sheriff's units, a canine unit, an air unit, eight Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers and two Sumter County sheriff's bloodhounds started about nightfall.
The FWC officers found the teens late Monday and returned them to their parents.
Laux, who had passed out because of low blood sugar, was taken to a hospital for treatment.