Boy, 5, found dead near hiking trail in Alaska after mother said they got lost

After spending the night outdoors, the boy's mother left him to seek help on her own, authorities said.
Image: A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter waits to airlift Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue personnel to search for Jaxson Brown, a missing 5-year-old-boy, in Alaska on March 28, 2020.
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter waits to airlift Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue personnel to search for Jaxson Brown, a missing 5-year-old-boy, in Alaska on March 28, 2020.Dustin Safranek / Ketchikan Daily News via AP

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By Minyvonne Burke

The body of a 5-year-old boy was discovered near an Alaskan trail after his mother said they got lost during a hike.

A ground search team found the child, Jaxson Brown, around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, three days after he and his mother went for a hike along Lunch Creek Trail in Ketchikan.

The boy's mother, Jennifer Treat, told Alaska State Troopers that she and Jaxson went on a hike Wednesday afternoon.

Jaxson Brown.Alaska State Troopers

"During the hike, the pair became disoriented and lost the trail," the state troopers office said in a press release. "They spent the night together. In the morning, Treat left Jaxson to seek help on her own, as he was reportedly tired and didn’t want to hike anymore."

"In her rush to find help, Treat reportedly tripped on a root and significantly injured her leg," authorities said.

Treat, 36, was found alone on Friday about three miles up the trail after state troopers received a call to help find a woman and her child. Her car was found parked near the trail, the press release said.

Twenty ground searchers and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter assisted in the search for Jaxson.

The Lunch Creek trail is 4.8 miles long and is composed of both natural tread and boardwalk, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Its difficulty level is rated as moderate.