Lost Hikers Charged With Ginseng Theft

12:16 PM, Oct 15, 2013   |    comments
  • Derek Whitson, Jesse Mizell (photos: Asheville Citizen Times)
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ASHEVILLE - Two hikers who were lost in the woods Sunday night were found safe overnight but were charged Monday with ginseng theft.

Derek Vann Whitson, 33, of Mars Hill, and Jesse Daniel Mizell, 25, of Green Mountain, each face a felony theft of ginseng charge, according to Asheville Police Sgt. Dave Romick.

Bond for each was set at $1,000, secured.

Rescuers began searching for the hikers at about 8 p.m. Sunday near the Craggy Gardens Visitors Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, northeast of Asheville. The pair were found Monday morning and brought out of the woods shortly after 7:30 a.m.

Crews from the Reems Creek and Black Mountain fire departments aided in the search.

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