Updated: Big Bend Ranch State Park Search

Big Bend SearchOn the morning of Saturday, October 5, 2013, TEXSAR received a request from Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), and Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) to assist in the search for Cathy Frye, who had been missing in Big Bend Ranch State Park since that Wednesday.  Along with partners from the Texas State Guard Maritime Regiment (TMAR), Alamo Area Search and Rescue (AASAR), and Travis County Search and Rescue (TCSAR), TEXSAR deployed to the West Texas state park to assist TPWD, the Texas Game Warden’s Search and Rescue Team, the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office, and Texas DPS in the major search operation.

Big Bend SearchThe search was suspended at dark Saturday evening, and at first light on Sunday morning search ground teams from all responding agencies and K-9 assets from AASAR set out to search high probability areas within the massive search area.  With scores of trained SAR technicians, the responders had covered much of the park during the morning, and at around noon on Sunday, searchers from TPWD, TEXSAR, and TMAR covering the ridges along the Solitario region of the park heard Catherine call out.  All teams quickly converged on her location and were able to attend to her immediate medical needs and call in her location for a helicopter extraction.

Big Bend SearchThis was yet another successful outcome to a very difficult search.  Cathy is currently doing well and recovering in an El Paso hospital, thanks to her strong will and great spirits, the invaluable assistance from her husband, Rick, and the response from all agencies involved.  It is impossible to say enough about the skills and dedication of our partners from TMAR, AASAR, and TCSAR or the professionalism and competence of the local, state, and federal agencies involved.

Deployment Photos

Update: Video from Cathy’s Appearance with Katie Couric

Media Reports