A skier missing for six days on Whiteface Mountain in remote northeast NY and presumed dead has turned up alive and well 2,800 miles away in Sacramento, California, State Police said.
Police say further details will be released later on. "Although details are limited at this time, we are advised he is in the care of the police in Sacramento", Pegg tweeted.
"We're extremely happy for Danny, his family, his friends, that he is alive and they will be reunited", said Frank Ramagnano, the president of the Toronto Professional Firefighters.
Ramagnano said he had personally travelled to Lake Placid, and saw the search in action.
Deputies said Filippidis bought a cellphone at some point along the way to California, but he doesn't remember where.
Mark Chinapen, a friend of Filippidis and member of the Los Angeles Police Department Board of Directors, said he's just as confused as everyone else.
"He had called her by a nickname and she quickly recognized the voice and that it was him but then they lost contact". "Police that eventually made contact with him were concerned and brought him to get some medical attention".
Searchers mark their positions using GPS units so they cover more terrain efficiently
Filippidis was last seen wearing a green ski jacket, black helmet and red skis, and is described as 5-foot-10-inches tall, 220 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. Asked if Filippidis has a history of mental illness, Ramagnano said he didn't know. "He noted that police were in possession of Filippidis's passport, so it was unlikely he flew to California".
"We understand that there will be speculation and many questions at this time, however, please appreciate that authorities will be conducting a full and thorough investigation into what transpired". "No matter how the investigation unfolds, you can not take away from all the volunteers and all the work that was put into finding Danny", Ramagnano said.
In his statement, Pegg thanked "all those who participated in the search" for Filippidis. He said Filippidis was skiing with one other person but when that person started to feel worn out, he said Filippidis made a decision to do "one last run" by himself.
Filippidis was part of a group of Toronto firefighters on their annual ski trip when he disappeared and ended up on the other side of the country. So, while Filippidis technically went missing in the Adirondack Mountains, it's more like he disappeared on a busy city street. "Danny stayed because he wanted to do one more run".
One employee at the mountain jokingly said in passing Tuesday, "Whiteface is now home to the longest ski trail in the world".
According to Ramagnano, about 100 Toronto firefighters travelled to the area to help with the search, and an equal number of their colleagues agreed to backfill their shifts.
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