Missing Garrard County hiker found


GARRARD COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Police in Garrard County say a hiker reported missing on Wednesday was found safe Friday morning.

Jessica Burk, 40, wandered right up to the mobile communications center organizing the search effort dedicated to finding her. In fact, the first man she spoke to had brought his dogs from Ohio to look for her.

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Burk’s boyfriend called police Wednesday afternoon, saying he could not find her after both of them went hiking at Tom Dorman State Nature Preserve near Palisades Point.

Authorities say the boyfriend told them he went to take pictures and told her to stay put. He says when he came back, she was gone.

Friday, after two cold nights, they prepared to search for a body.

Before they could, Burk proved herself alive and well, wandering right out to the mobile communications center.

She has a brain injury and told police she felt like she was walking in circles. She made it all the way to the dam on Herrington Lake Thursday night, where rescuers weren’t searching.

She said she saw a helicopter both nights, but the infrared didn’t pick her up. Luckily, her survival instincts did.

She told police she’s a nature lover who will be better prepared next time she heads for the trail.

Police say it was a treacherous search because of conditions like sink holes and caves. Still, on Thursday, about 60-70 people from multiple counties came out to look for her.

Police say Burk was found at around 9:45 a.m. Friday near Tom Dorman State Nature Preserve, where she went missing.

They say she was not injured.