Minn. man safe after getting lost in AZ mountains

11:40 PM, Feb 17, 2013   |    comments
Michael Kmit
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FLORENCE, Ariz. -- Searchers have found an Arizona State University student who was reported missing Sunday morning in the Superstitions Mountain.

Kelly Hauer, a friend of Michael Kmit, said authorities notified her that a ranger found him, possibly near a water source.

She said authorities were flying Kmit to a staging area near Peralta Trailhead, where they plan to access his condition.

"We were all relieved. We were smiling and crying,'' Hauer said.  Kmit's father confirmed to KARE 11 Sunday night his son was "alive and well."

Hauer was one of five friends who started their own search party for Kmit, who was reported missing Sunday morning when he failed to return from a hike on Saturday.

The friends hiked on trails, yelling Kmit's name, but he had not answered. She said Kmit's friends were getting increasingly nervous as time passed and the sun went down.

"We plan to talk to him about hiking alone,'' Hauer said.

Kmit left Tempe yesterday afternoon to go hiking and his roommates noticed later that evening that he had not returned. Hauer said her friend loves the outdoors and doesn't mind hiking alone if his friends can't join him. But he typically comes back before sundown.

Kmit's Mitsubishi was found at the Peralta Trailhead this morning.

Kmit was last seen wearing a short sleeve shirt and blue jeans when he left Tempe yesterday, according to information from the Tempe Police Department. Kmit is around 6 feet tall, has short brown hair and a thin to medium build.

"He's a really funny, loving guy," she said. "He captivates everybody with his positive energy and his personality

(Copyright 2013 by The Arizona Republic News. All Rights Reserved.)

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