Spokane hiker who went missing from Liberty Lake: 'I really did - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane hiker who went missing from Liberty Lake: 'I really did think I was going to die'

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Imagine being lost in the woods for more than 24 hours. That was the reality for one Spokane man. Jacob Caravalho was reported missing on Saturday night from Liberty Lake. Sunday evening, he was able to make a phone call from a home he found while trying to get out of the woods 27 miles away just south of Coeur d’Alene.

Jacob says he left to go hiking in Liberty Lake Saturday morning. He texted his roommate to let him know and went by himself.

“It just looked like a nice trail to go to,” Jacob says.

He reached what looked like the end of the trail, but saw a sign that said more hiking. So he followed it.

“It circled around a few times,” he says. “I ended up on a horse trail at the top of a hill.”

That’s when he knew he was lost.

“There was a point where I was looking around. I was like this is not good,” he says.

His cell phone died as he tried to call 911. Jacob was too turned around at that point to try and find his way back, but he did a find a stream and followed it, hoping it would take him back to the lake. Instead it took him deeper into the forest, and he slipped and fell off an 8-foot drop, which broke his ankle. At that point, he only thought he sprained it, but he decided to stop for the night, and rest.

Jacob didn’t prepare for this to happen. His daypack had his water, some protein bars, and a whistle. He only had a poncho to cover him at night. He says he even heard the helicopter from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office searching for him, but they couldn’t hear him and he couldn’t see them through the trees.

“I really did think I was going to die out there. It's Idaho. It's a dense forest. There's bears, mountain lions, wolves so I'm told. Luckily all I saw were some deer and squirrels,” he says.

So the next morning, he persisted.

“I just had the mentality of you fall seven times, you get up eight. So I kept going,” Jacob says.

He walked on his broken ankle for 12 miles, going up and down hillsides. Until he came across a path where it looked like there were recent ATV tracks. Jacob walked around that area, came across a gate, hopped it, and walked toward the homes in the area. He says that’s when he met a woman, who brought him in and fed him.

“She was a very sweet lady, a good-hearted woman. I appreciate her very much,” he says.

He was able to call his roommate and make his way home. Now, Jacob just hopes others can learn from his story. 

“Make sure you have enough supplies in case something happens, but number one - just don't go alone. And I learned that the hard way,” he says.

Jacob has gone to see a doctor for his ankle. He expects it'll be healed within a month and a half. He would like to thank all the law enforcement for the hours dedicated to searching for him. He would also like to thank everyone for their support online. 

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