A joint search effort by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, US Forest Service, La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District #4 and volunteers on Saturday afternoon led to finding a lost hiker from Ascension Parish in Kisatchie National Forest according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones.
On Saturday, Oct. 6 at 1 pm, Glenmora Police Department contacted the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office reporting that Rapides Parish Communications Center had received a 911 Call from a female reporting while she was hiking on the Backbone Trail in Kisatchie National Forest she became lost.
Sommer R. Worsham, 20 of Prairieville, informed operators she only had three percent battery life left on her cellphone and her GPS had her traveling in circles between Montrose Road and La. Hwy 119 in a clearcut.
911 Public Safety Answering Point with Automatic Location Identification vantage points collected by Rapides and Natchitoches 911 Centers provided a general grid search area for responding units.
Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies with All-Terrain Vehicles, US Forest Service, Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Agents, Natchitoches Parish Fire District #4 with All-Terrain Vehicles and volunteer squirrel hunters responded and began searching the area for Worsham.
911 operators made contact with Worsham’s family in Ascension Parish who confirmed she planned a hiking trip on Saturday morning.
Although an avid hiker, this was Worsham’s first hiking trip in Kisatchie Forest. She arrived at 8:20 am began her hike on Backbone Trail and became lost around 1 pm when she contacted 911 requesting assistance but lost phone service due to a low battery.
Worsham’s brother (Corey) became concerned and traveled from Prairieville to assist search crews.
As the afternoon progressed, search crews continued the search for Worsham.
At 7 pm, search crews found Worsham unharmed and grateful.
Worsham stated she had collected rainwater and had mosquito repellant just in case she had to spend the night in the wilderness. Worsham also stated she plans on hiking again in Kisatchie Forest but just not alone.
At 8 pm, Worsham was escorted home by her big brother.