SOUTHBRIDGE (CBS) – Kevin Chobot is very familiar with the woods at McKinstry Brook in Southbridge. He hiked the trails as a kid with his stepfather.
The last thing on his mind on Tuesday when he took his 6-year-old stepson Michael Brown into those same 226 acres was getting lost.
Kevin and Michael had to navigate around many of the familiar trails because of flooding.
“We were only planning on being out there for a few hours but it turned out to be a much longer event,” said Kevin.
That’s how Kevin says they got lost, and then it grew dark. After he called his wife on his cellphone, the battery died.
So they were in the woods, in the dark, lost without a way to call for help.
“I was so hysterical. I was crying and shaking,” said Analynn Chobot, Kevin’s wife. “I was worried they were going to get cold. It was wet, they were hungry. Everything was going through my mind. It was my worst nightmare not knowing if they were coming out or not.”
What saved them after several hours was the Southbridge police blaring their sirens, sounding off air horns and using a K-9 to track them.
Kevin blew into a whistle that he has on a survival bracelet on his wrist.
They entered the woods around 2 p.m. and came out to a joyous reunion with Kevin’s wife sometime around 10 p.m.
Police told WBZ-TV it’s a good thing they found them when they did because the temperature had dropped to 37 degrees and it was raining.
They say the father and son could have come down with hypothermia.
“(Mom) was scared that we got eaten by the bears,” said Brown.