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Florida man found safe after going missing in north Georgia mountains

Hikers spotted 24-year-old Shane Michael Dixon and said he seemed fatigued. Authorities are worried he may be in danger of exposure.

UNION COUNTY, Ga. — Authorities in north Georgia say a hiker whose backpack was found abandoned on the Appalachian Trail on Monday was found safe on Tuesday.

Union County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Daren Osbourn confirmed that 24-year-old Shane Michael Dixon, of St. Petersburg, Florida, was hiking in the area and his backpack was found in the morning hours about three miles off of Georgia 60 near Gooch Gap and Suches.

He was spotted later that day - around 2:15 p.m. - by hikers near Cooper Gap, not far from the bag.

According to the sheriff's office, Dixon appeared to be fatigued and didn't have supplies such as food, water or camping gear. He got a bottle of water from the hikers and said he was heading to Unicoi State Park about 30 miles away from White County.

On Tuesday afternoon, authorities posted that he'd been found safe was receiving medical attention.

Authorities were concerned that Dixon was danger of possible exposure given his lack of supplies and spending the overnight hours in near-freezing temperatures.

Credit: Union County Sheriff's Office
Shane Michael Dixon


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