The boy, who reportedly wanted to see a friend in Canada, was missing for three days.
A 17-year-old was safely located in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park after wandering away from a wilderness survival group in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, officials said Monday.
The boy, from Omaha, Neb., was among a wilderness survival group camping on Basswood Lake on the U.S. side of the border, according to Ontario Provincial Police Constable Jim Davis. He reportedly left the group around 5 a.m. Wednesday, and the group contacted authorities that afternoon.
Davis said Canadian authorities joined the search on Thursday, after footprints were discovered indicating he had crossed the border. An aerial search team found the teen Saturday on the northeast end of Basswood Lake in Ontario.
Davis said the boy had taken a number of supplies with him and was in good condition when found. He had made it roughly five or six miles through rough terrain and across the lake, Davis said.
“He was intent on going to see a friend in Canada,” Davis told the News Tribune. “When we asked him about it, he didn’t really want to give up information about the friend or anything. I don’t think he realized it’s like hundreds of kilometers away.”
Davis said authorities were in contact with the teen’s parents and he was returned to the U.S. without facing any charges.
The search and investigation were jointly conducted by OPP’s Northwest Region Emergency Response Team, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ontario Parks, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, St. Louis County Rescue Squad, Canadian Border Services Agency and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.