UPDATE: Missing camper located - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Missing camper located

UPDATE: The Fayette County Sheriff's Department says the man reported missing at Camp Washington Carver has been located safely. He found his way out of the woods early this morning just after daybreak.

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CLIFFTOP, W. Va (WVVA)-- The Fayette County Sheriff's Office is spearheading a search for a missing man in the Clifftop area of Fayette County.

Police say Cornelius "Neil" Carroll, age 58, of Weaverville, N.C. went for a hike in the woods surrounding Camp Washington Carver Friday afternoon and did not return. He had been camping at the Appalachian String Band Festival at Camp Washington Carver at Clifftop.

Carroll was in contact with his family by cellular phone for a brief period earlier this evening. He reported that he was in a very steep, heavily wooded area and could hear running water.

His cell phone has since lost power and all contact with him has been lost.

Members of the Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit attempted to initiate a track but were unsuccessful. Officers at the scene used helicopters equipped with thermal imaging equipment to continue the search Friday evening.

Sheriff Kessler said, "Unless we are able to locate this individual through the use of aviation units, we will be suspending all search operations until daylight.... It's simply not safe to put emergency responders into the woods at night, plus it would be easy for these responders to overlook signs that might lead to the recovery of the missing individual."

First responders from local fire departments are ready to provide rescue assistance if the aviation units are able to find Carroll.

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