Men missing in Fayette County woods found safe

UNCUT: Boy lost in woods talks about rescue
Photo taken as soon as the boys were found safe
Photo taken as soon as the boys were found safe

(WMC-TV) – The man and teenager who became lost in the backwoods of Fayette County while geocaching have been found safe.

The radio DJ and Memphis child actor were reported missing Saturday night after they attended a wedding.

Justin Willingham 29, and Cody Hanford, 17, were found near a shallow pond around 8 a.m. Monday.

"I'm great. I'm really good," said Cody Hanford. "I'm happy. I'm so happy. I'm just happy to be out. Right when I heard someone scream back to me, I was just like, 'Thank you baby Jesus.'"

Willingham credits Cheyenne the Bloodhound for their rescue.

"Doing well, thanks to the dog, we're doing fine," he said.

"There was a lot of scent back there. She just had to work out the direction of travel," said Cheyenne's owner, Paulette Weible. "We got to appoint where I told them to start yelling for their names because we were getting close to the river. And then answered, thank God, yeah."

Willingham is an on-air personality for WKNO-FM. Hanford is a child actor, who appeared in the 2007 film Hounddog with Dakota Fanning.

They said they went into the woods to do some geocaching and apparently got lost when one of them dropped their cell phone, which they were using as a GPS, in some water. They also lost the keys to their car.

Geocaching is a treasure hunting game, in which the players use GPS-enabled devices.

"Probably not a wise decision to try to do that at night," said Ray Garcia, Fayette County Sheriff's Office. "From what I understand there's a good possibility the geocaching sites that are out here are probably going to be pulled to try to prevent anyone from trying to come out here and potentially get lost out here."

Willingham and Hanford are being checked out at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Collierville. The hospital reports the two are in satisfactory condition.

Cheyenne has been on the job for nearly 13 years. Just two weeks ago, she was called on to help in the search for little Maurice Brown, Jr.

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