DAY 5: Deputies continue search for man last seen Saturday in Croatan National Forest

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MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) — Wednesday was Day 5 in the search for a Carteret County man who went missing in the Croatan National Forest.

Carteret County deputies and search teams continued to search 15 square miles of Croatan National Forest by ground and air for Joshua Clauson, 20, who went missing on Saturday. Clauson, of 1202 Lake Road, Lake Road MHP, failed to return from a walk in the Croatan National Forest on Saturday.

Family members reported Clauson entered the woods with a relative around 10 a.m. on Saturday at the rear of the mobile home park off Lake Road.

Joshua Clauson (Carteret County Sheriff’s Office photo)

Carteret County Emergency Management along with teams from Coastal Carolina, Brunswick and Chocowinity Search & Rescue have been leading the ground efforts while the North Carolina Highway Patrol Air Unit has also been searching the land by helicopter.

Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck said Wednesday there is very little information that could be released. He said teams are using technology such as GPS, aerial assistance and tracking dogs to find Clauson.

Search teams were alternating in the search during the day. One team puts down markers when they see footprints of a boot, which is believed to be what Clauson was wearing when he disappeared. When a marker is put down, another team will come behind with a tracking dog to sniff out Clauson’s scent.

Clauson’s relative reported they got lost Saturday and became separated. The relative was eventually able to find his way out on Rams Horn Road off Nine Foot Road after listening to the sounds of passing vehicles. Deputies were unable to locate Clauson during the overnight hours and called in search and rescue teams.

Additional law enforcement and fire departments responded to the call for assistance, including NC Wildlife, US Forest Service, Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, Pender and Pamlico County Search & Rescue, and fire departments from Newport, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle as well as Town of Newport public works.

On Sunday, teams from Coastal Carolina Search and Rescue based out of Pitt County, Brunswick Search & Rescue, and Chocowinity Search & Rescue met with Carteret County deputies before beginning the search.

The search continued on Monday as a NC Wildlife airplane and Highway Patrol helicopter were brought in to aid in the search, according to Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck.

Clauson is described as a 20-year-old white male with red hair last seen wearing a khaki tank top and blue jeans.

The Sheriffs Office is requesting homeowners who live in the area check their property and outbuildings. Property owners who need assistance are asked to call the non-emergency line at the Carteret Communications Center (252) 726-1911.

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