After surviving the wilderness for days, Clovis man is grateful to be alive

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For days, Cody King made smoke signals to help his rescuers find him

SHAVER LAKE, California (KSEE) — It’s the ending everyone hoped for. The last time anyone saw Cody King was Wednesday night when he looked for help to get his car out of the snow. But, by Sunday morning, he’d be back with his family safe and sound.

By around 5 p.m., 24-year-old King was warming up with family around a fire near a cabin they rented in Shaver Lake. Everyone smiling and laughing after the rough few days they’ve had.

Around 6 p.m. Wednesday, King and his girlfriend, Annie Ybarra, got stuck in the Dinkey Creek area. When he went to find help, King ran into a PG&E worker in the area. That worker helped him get to an area with cell service.

“My roadside assistance wouldn’t answer, so [the worker] just said, ‘I’ll give you a shovel and you can go back and dig it out,’” King said.

He got lost trying to find his car.

“It was pitch black, so I was just stumbling around in the dark. I found a road closed sign and I slept by there,” King said. “The next morning, I took another wrong turn I guess.”

He eventually found a cabin, which he’d break into. Now with shelter, he’d make smoke signals every morning the next few days. When he went out to make the signal for Sunday — he heard a noise.

“That’s when I heard the guy with the dog, it was barking. So, I went back to the front and there he was,” he said.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team had been leading the search since King disappeared Wednesday. King was found around 10:45 a.m. Sunday.

King said he is forever grateful to the search and rescue personnel that worked to find him — particularly for helping him reunite with his family.

“Just joy and happiness. [When I saw my mom] she was shaking, so much in shock,” he said. “It was a little overwhelming, seeing all these people come up here for me.”

King also thanks everyone else who’s been offering their support and prayers the last few days.

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