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Missing Scout found alive in Utah

Uncle says 11-year-old's family 'thrilled' after four-day search

Brennan Hawkins arrives Tuesday by ambulance at a hospital in Salt Lake City.


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KAMAS, Utah (CNN) -- Volunteers Tuesday found an 11-year-old boy alive four days after he disappeared from a Boy Scout camp in rugged northeast Utah.

As Brennan Hawkins was wheeled on a gurney into Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, he waved to reporters, then frowned and rubbed his eyes.

"We are here to tell you that the heavens are not closed," said his mother, Jody Hawkins. "And children come home."

A short time later, Dr. Edward Clark, medical director of Primary Children's, said, "Brennan appears in remarkably good shape, given the ordeal he's been through."

An initial evaluation showed the boy was "scraped and bumped, he's had falls and bruises," said Clark. The doctor added that Hawkins was being treated for dehydration and would be given blood tests and X-rays and kept overnight for evaluation.

"We still haven't ruled out any other major injuries," he said.

However, he added, "Everything we see right now suggests he'll make a full recovery."

The boy "looks like he's tired and he looks like he's very happy to be where he is, and he's extraordinarily pleased to have his parents around him."

Two volunteer searchers came across the boy around noon (3 p.m. ET) about 1.5 miles south of Lily Lake. Searchers, who used all-terrain vehicles and horses, had considered the area unlikely to prove fruitful, because the boy would have had to cross a steep mountain ridge to get there.

"He said he had seen the horses before but was scared to approach them," Summit County Sheriff David Edmunds said about the boy, who told rescuers he had neither eaten nor drunk anything.

"As soon as they got there, he ate all the food they had on them," including granola bars, Edmunds said, adding that the boy was found five miles west of where he was last seen, not far off a trail.

After eating and drinking, the boy -- wearing the same blue sweatshirt, nylon shorts and climbing shoes as when he was last seen -- "wanted to play a video game on one of the searchers' cell phones."

The boy "was in no mood to give us a lot of details" about how he came to be lost or what he did during those four days, Edmunds said. "He just wanted something to eat; wanted to see his mom."

The boy's parents were called in, and joined him in an ambulance for a ride to the hospital.

"What a power burst," said his uncle, Bob Hawkins. "We are absolutely thrilled with the outcome of this ... this is the greatest outcome we could expect."

Kay Godfrey, of the Greater Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts, said he was "walking on air."

"I can't believe what a relief it is to have this young man alive," he said.

"Thank God he's found," said Gregg Shields, national spokesman for the Boy Scouts. "The boy's safe, and that's what's important."

The boy vanished Friday afternoon from an 8,500-foot elevation Boy Scout camp 80 miles east of Salt Lake.

At 11, Hawkins was still a Cub Scout, but was attending the camp as the guest of another boy whose father was leading an annual event.

A climbing wall supervisor said he had seen Hawkins removing his climbing gear, but the boy failed to show up for dinner an hour later.

His disappearance prompted a four-day search of Utah's rugged Uinta Mountains and an area along Bear River.

As many as 3,000 volunteers were involved in the effort.

One of them was the father of a 12-year-old scout who disappeared last August just a few miles away from the area Hawkins was last seen.

The official search for Garrett Bardsley was called off nine days later.

"As happy as I am for the Hawkins family, this brings back a lot of wounds from the Bardsley search," Edmunds said. "My deepest sympathies still go out to them, and it's hard to talk about that, quite frankly."

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