Sisters Missing on Wyoming Wilderness Trip Found

The Andrews-Sharer sisters' were hiking and camping outside of Jackson Hole.

ByABC News
July 9, 2015, 5:42 PM

— -- The three sisters who were missing for days after going on a camping trip outside of Jackson Hole have been safely found.

A search team on a helicopter "spotted three individuals matching the description of Megan, Erin, and Kelsi Andrews-Sharer" and they have since been positively identified as the young women, according to Lori Iverson, the public information officer for the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Megan Andrews-Sharer, 25, and her sisters Erin, 22, and Kelsie, 16, are from Wisconsin, but have spent years hiking. They left 10 days ago for a hiking and camping trip in Teton County, located outside Jackson Hole.

"They're tired, cold, hungry, but otherwise healthy and happy to be on their way out," Iverson said.

The spot where the sisters were found was approximately 7 miles west of where their empty car was found on Wednesday in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

"The girls are in good spirits," their father Eric told ABC News. "They were running a little bit short on food, but other than that they’re in good physical condition, as you can imagine my wife and I are very relieved and thankful that they’re safe."

He said that their "good back country skills" were responsible for their survival and eventual rescue.

"I think they had a good plan, like anything people can get turned around here and it’s a big wilderness," he said. "They did all the right things, they hung out in one spot, they stayed close together, they didn't try to do anything that you wouldn't want skilled hikers to do, they stayed put, they made sure they were able to be seen, that’s how the helicopter found them."

A “ping” from one of the sisters’ cellphones was last detected on June 30.

It’s believed the Andrews-Sharer sisters packed a tent, sleeping bags and about five days-worth of food.

Dozens of search team members, including dogs, scoured an area covering roughly 150 square miles. The terrain in the region features cliffs and heavy tree coverage, making the search efforts especially difficult, Teton County Sheriff Jim Whalen said.

“They have been doing back-country camping trips for their entire lives, basically, so we all are confident that they especially know what they’re doing and how to survive,” Whalen said.

“Right now, it doesn’t look like there’s anything nefarious at all; it would appear they got turned around in the back-country and now they’re lost.”

Parishioners at churches in the sisters’ home state had held prayer vigils on Tuesday, hoping for a safe return.

Lauren Buyan, a close friend of one of the sisters, expressed concern for their safety.

“They've never really backpacked in the wilderness before, at least not this type of rugged wilderness,” she said. “So this would be their first real experience out here, in Wyoming.”