Calif. Man Walked 16 Miles Before Dying

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By TIM FOUGHT
The Associated Press
Saturday, December 9, 2006; 8:24 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A San Francisco man who was stranded with his family in the snowy wilderness walked more than 16 miles in search of help before he died _ six more than originally thought, a search official said Saturday.

James Kim, 35, his wife and their two daughters were about seven miles from a fishing lodge stocked with food, not the one mile as authorities earlier thought, said Phil Turnbull, a fire chief in Josephine County.

A mapping error led to the incorrect figures, but did not affect the search for Kim, Turnbull said.

Turnbull said it was important to "set the public record straight" and "to emphasize the efforts Mr. Kim made to rescue his family."

The Kims were returning to San Francisco on Nov. 25 and had gotten stuck in snow after taking a wrong turn down a logging road that is normally blocked by a gate. Vandals apparently had cut the lock on the gate, officials said.

Kim's wife, Kati, 30, and their two young daughters were rescued Monday, two days after he struck out on foot in search of help. James Kim was found dead of exposure in a mountain creek Wednesday.

The owner of the lodge said he didn't recognize the area as being near his lodge and double-checked.

Turnbull said the vehicle was 6.37 miles farther along the road, meaning James Kim had walked that much farther than searchers first thought.

"Holy smokes, that was superhuman effort to get that many miles," owner John James told the Grants Pass Daily Courier, referring to James Kim. The newspaper first reported about the error.


© 2006 The Associated Press

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