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Two boys who fled a wilderness therapy campsite were discovered and detained by a Beaver County rancher Tuesday morning and were back in the program's custody, and the third teen was found by searchers a few hours later.
Steve Schultz, spokesman for the RedCliff Ascent Wilderness Therapy Program, said all three boys were in good condition, and likely will remain in the program albeit under additional scrutiny.
"We'll make sure there's extra eyes on them from now on," he said.
Two of the boys, ages 14 and 15, were found by the rancher about 10 a.m., at a cabin approximately 12 miles southeast of the remote mountain campsite they fled early Monday morning. He called the program's office direct, and staff picked them up.
The 15-year-old is believed to have led the break, having done the same about a week ago before being found with another youth near some area cabins. He and the 14-year-old told staff that they left the third boy, also 15, behind and kept hiking after he became tired earlier Tuesday.
They gave searchers information on where he was believed to be, and the boy was located shortly after noon.
The three had been discovered missing from a campsite about 6 a.m. Monday.
"Nobody knows exactly when the boys left. The group woke up and they were gone," Schultz said, noting that the trio took food and water with them, and two of the boys had been with the program long enough to be familiar with water sources, food and other supply caches within the program's property.
Along with Beaver County Search and Rescue workers and sheriff's deputies, RedCliff staff which includes certified trackers and experienced outdoors recreationists had been looking for the three since early Monday in an area of steep forested lands 60 miles west of Milford.
The boys had last been seen wearing white T-shirts and "Crocs" style shoes, but temperatures overnight have remained warm, in the 60s and 70s.
Beaver County Sheriff Cameron Noel has expressed concern over the search-related costs associated with the second runaway incident in as many weeks at RedCliff, saying the costs of the current search already had topped $10,000 as of Monday.
Schultz, while not specifying how much of the cost the program would defray, indicated RedCliff would help with the costs, just as it is with on-the-ground search efforts.
He noted that the father of the 15-year-old boy believed to have led the runaways had already offered to contribute to the search and rescue expenses.
Founded in 1993, RedCliff generally enrolls about 50 teens at a time. The students typically are dealing with behavioral, emotional, and social interaction challenges.