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Hiker and Zippy the dog leave Laurel Ridge State Park after becoming lost

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Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, 10:34 a.m.
 

A 73-year-old Pittsburgh woman spent the night in Laurel Ridge State Park with her dog after they lost their bearings, according to Park Manager Michael Mumau.

Jane Connelly was found Friday morning by a search group and left with her family and dog, Zippy, Mumau said.

“She's a very fit, very experienced hiker,” he said.

Connelly and a male companion were hiking along the Laurel Highlands Trail in the Fayette County area of park Thursday when they became separated. When she didn't return to a vehicle at a pre-designated time, search teams were deployed Thursday evening, Mumau said.

“She had become disoriented as to which direction she was heading” and by the time she gained her bearings, it grew dark so she camped out, he said.

“Last night, with all things considered, was a good night for that to happen,” Mumau said.

The temperature dipped into the upper 50s overnight, according to the National Weather Service.

High temperatures for the weekend are expected to reach the 50s with lows reaching into the 30s.

Mumau praised the search groups for coming together quickly. Members of the search groups included Connelly's family, two local fire departments, state police, local search and rescue teams and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“When someone needs help, there's a tremendous outpouring of rescue parties in the Laurel Highland region,” he said.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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