ST. PARIS – A mushroom hunter who became separated from fellow hunters, then lost his cell phone and his way, returned to civilization with the aid of a young man visiting his family last week.
Michael Stropki, who lives just north of Kiser Lake, said his son, Stefan, 21, was visiting from Columbus on May 2. While roaming Kiser Lake State Park, they encountered two men who said they were concerned about their 75-year-old companion, who had been hunting mushrooms with them. They said he had become separated from them a couple hours before and was not answering his phone.
Stropki said his son set out to find the man, which he did, phoneless by that time and “bogged down in mud.” Stefan phoned the companions and assured them their friend was safe.
After an hour of hiking, Stefan and the formerly lost hunter returned from the muddy trails. One of the man’s friends had called 911, so JSP Fire District personnel arrived to check out the wanderer, and law enforcement also was on hand.
Stropki said he and his wife, Catherine, are proud of their son. “Stefan mentioned to me that he felt this was one of the best things he’s done in his life,” he said. This was not Stefan’s only recent accomplishment. He graduated from Ohio State University over the weekend.