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Missing VA hikers found alive, well

Posted at 12:28 PM, Oct 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-16 12:52:01-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -- Two hikers from Virginia were found safe in Glacier National Park, three days after they were reported missing.

Dr. Jason Hiser, age 32, was hiking with Neal Peckens, 32, of Northern Virginia. They were reported missing on Friday after missing their flight back home, after three days of hiking a 17-mile loop on the east side of Glacier National Park last Tuesday.

"It's high-fives and goosebumps, you know, down the arms," Glacier National Park spokesperson Denise Germann said.  "It's just so wonderful to know that they're fine and doing well."

der Au Michael, who works with Dr. Hiser at Broad Street Vet, said soon after he and Dr. Peckens were deemed missing, the community rallied to help find the men. One client even offered up an angel that once hung over her hospital bed when she was a child.

'It wasn't too long after we hung it we got the fabulous news he's home and he's safe," der Au Michael said. "The support, the happiness, the prayers, the happy thoughts anything that people can do for us they have been willing to do and it's just fantastic news."

der Au Michael said countless prayers went up for the missing men and the nearly 50 rescuers who spent days searching the snow-covered terrain.

"Great appreciation goes to all of our partner agencies," Germann said.  "Flathead County has been wonderful, North Valley Search and Rescue, the Border Patrol, everyone's been great and so we definitely appreciate everybody's help with this. "

We have learned the two hikers were capable of walking on their own.  However before coming home, they are being debriefed so officials can learn exactly what happened.