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Ham Lake man found hypothermic after four days

The missing Ham Lake man whose car was found in Forbes on Friday was found in hypothermic condition today by the St. Louis County Sheriff's Rescue Squad. Bruce John Washburn, 45, was discovered by squad members on snowmobiles who found tracks lea...

The missing Ham Lake man whose car was found in Forbes on Friday was found in hypothermic condition today by the St. Louis County Sheriff's Rescue Squad. Bruce John Washburn, 45, was discovered by squad members on snowmobiles who found tracks leading into the woods near Pfeiffer Lake Campground north of Virginia.

Washburn was transferred to the Virginia Regional Medical Center. No report on his current condition was available.

"He was confused and cold," said Lt. Ed Kipley, one of the officers who found Washburn at a makeshift campsite Tuesday afternoon. "There was evidence that he had been there for several days."

On Monday morning a man called the St. Louis County Sheriff's office informing them that on Friday afternoon he had picked Washburn up and dropped him off at the Big Aspen Ski Area near Virginia. The man said that Washburn had been hitchhiking.

The rescue squad searched the area surrounding the ski area for footprints Monday afternoon until dark and continued their search this morning. They found Washburn at 1:11 p.m. Officers on the scene were unable to determine why he had traveled there.

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"Being cold, he wasn't really able to talk coherently," said Kipley.

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