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Utah man recalls experience lost in wilderness

By Jen Riess, | Posted - Aug. 18, 2019 at 11:10 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — "In case I don't make it out of here I love you. I've loved my life with you, and I'm so sorry I've left you to be a single mom." Those are the words Kaden Laga wrote in a text in case they found "my body cold," he said. It was a message for Arden, his wife.

Laga got separated from his family in the Montana-Idaho wilderness last Sunday and was missing for almost a week. He survived off of berries and ants before he was found at a camp filled with volunteers looking for him.

In an interview with NBC Montana, Kaden said, at one point, he was preparing for the worst. "No matter what, you're getting off this mountain," he said. "And it doesn't matter how long it takes, it doesn't matter how hard it is, you can't die here.

"I'm standing quite a ways away and I yell 'hello, hello, hello!'" he said. "And then I hear them, I hear them go, 'are you Kaden?' and I yell 'I am Kaden!'"

He told the family he only slept three hours per night and spent most of his time walking around the wilderness, searching for a trail.

Aside from appearing skinny, Debbie Laga said her son was acting perfectly normal.

Contributing: Tania Mashburn, KSL TV, Lauren Bennett,

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