Lost Suffolk man uses leaves and tree limbs to stay alive

Posted at 2:27 PM, Jun 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-18 16:37:35-04

Although described by his father as "indoorsy," 23-year-old Kyle Spencer Williams knew enough to survive out in the wilderness.

Suffolk police say Kyle had been missing since last Thursday, but how long he spent lost somewhere in the thousands of acres of woods between Indian Trail Road and Deer Path Road is unclear at this point.

Bud Williams says his son doesn't remember a lot of what happened or how he even became lost.

"We asked him how long were you there? 'I don't know.' Well, I said how many nights do you remember? He remembers one night."

Bud says his son also remembers finding running water to drink and doing whatever it took to keep himself warm at night.

"He started just wrapping himself up with limbs and debris leaves and stuff to try to stay warm through the night waiting for day break," described Bud.

The Williams family reported Kyle missing Sunday evening and by Monday morning, Bud says, officials from all over responded including Virginia State Police, Suffolk Fire and Rescue and volunteers from Tidewater Search and Rescue, Greater Atlantic Rescue Dogs (GARD), K9 Alert of Richmond and Piedmont Search & Rescue.

"They did the search of the whole perimeter.  I think I heard them, they said the dogs got a few hits now and then, not really a strong hit but enough," Bud explained.

Monday evening, a Virginia Beach Police helicopter spotted Kyle in an area closer to Deer Path Rd. Bud says his son noticed "police" written on the helicopter and was waving to get the attention of the crew.

As Kyle continues to recover in the hospital, his dad says, he still can't piece together how he ended up lost in the woods and exactly how long he was there. The last thing Kyle remembers, his father says, was going back to his house on Indian Trail Road where he lives alone after hanging out with friends. The next thing he knew he woke up in the middle of the woods.

Right now, Bud says he's just thankful his son is home safe and extremely grateful to the dozens of rescue crews and volunteers who worked tirelessly to  make sure that happened.

"I just can't explain it. If they hadn't done what they had done, I can only imagine the worst. But, because of their efforts he's with us," said Bud.

Suffolk police say figuring how Kyle ended up lost in the woods is part of their ongoing investigation.

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