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News Conference on Once-Missing Scout

Aired June 22, 2005 - 12:00   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: And we're going to go ahead and listen in live now to Toby and Jody Hawkins.
TOBY HAWKINS, BRENNAN'S FATHER: I just wanted to tell you that this is a whole new game for us. And it's nice to see familiar faces in the media. You know, that's -- a rapport and a friendship goes a long way for us, and it helps kind of settle us down through this whole process.

We -- in our experience, it's been difficult for us to be able to determine how to best approach this. And we wanted to tell you just that we've sincerely appreciated the influence and the effect and the resources that have been mustered as a result of the media.

JODY HAWKINS, BRENNAN'S MOTHER: We have been not trying to avoid you guys. We woke up this morning at 6:00, and we say, "What do we do?" Because we laid in bed and we talked about it.

But we have no experience with the media. So we weren't avoiding you. We appreciate you. We just don't know -- I have never even called in a talk radio show. You know, I just -- I don't public speak.

So we thank you, though.

T. HAWKINS: Yes, we appreciate your patience in that regard.

I guess probably what we would like to do is thank everybody. And we -- we want to celebrate this.

What a remarkable finish and conclusion to this whole experience. You go from incredible worry and concern, wondering what you could have better, what you should have done in the beginning, then you go through the search process of not getting any clues and running into dead-ends. And then, in just an instance, kind of a flip of a switch, you go to incredible exhilaration, gratitude, and appreciation for everybody's efforts that were directed and that ultimately resulted in the successful rescue of Brennan.

QUESTION: Toby, what did Brennan tell you about his ordeal?

T. HAWKINS: We understand that this is fairly common. Brennan's -- Brennan's -- it's going to take a little while to get everything out. And that's not unusual with Brennan, you know?

J. HAWKINS: This is how he approaches any situation, whether he went to an amusement park or whether -- he doesn't have great communication about events that are going on in his life. But his personality has not changed one tiny bit.

He was cracking jokes to us within 20 to 30 seconds when we saw him yesterday. Just his little funny, quirky sense of humor was right on.

T. HAWKINS: I thought it was funny after everything settled down in the rescue that he said -- he said, "Mom, did my Pokemon cards arrive?"

J. HAWKINS: He ordered them on eBay last week, and I tell you, that's what got him off that mountain. He gets very riveted on something, and every day he checked the mail for them. And they were here.

And the first thing in the hospital, "Did my Pokemon cards come yet?" And that's his little personality.

T. HAWKINS: And those kind of -- those things kind of gave us indication that he's all right.

One thing that I thought was kind of interesting through the whole process is, once we found out and discovered that -- that he was OK, they had evaluated his medical condition. The first -- they do on that on an alpha basis. A being...

J. HAWKINS: Like we are.

T. HAWKINS: Like we are, feeling fine, responsive, ready to go. And F being parish. And their immediate assessment was that he was a C. And then they quickly went to an A, after the ET had done a quick evaluation, actually, right there on the trail. So he's remarkably well.

J. HAWKINS: He's doing incredible.

T. HAWKINS: He just -- you know, I think that going to the hospital was a -- was probably a precautionary thing more than anything oels. They hydrated him.

J. HAWKINS: Not even for that long.

T. HAWKINS: And he just -- you know, once again, he -- Brennan continues to amaze us.

J. HAWKINS: Absolutely.

T. HAWKINS: You know, his ability to deal with this. Initially, I made the comment that I thought that he was the most ill-prepared out of our five children to deal with it and...

J. HAWKINS: That's not true. Yes.

T. HAWKINS: And now I think he really was...

J. HAWKINS: He probably was the most.

T. HAWKINS: ... maybe the best prepared.


QUESTION: Could you tell us a little bit about him that allowed him to survive this?

J. HAWKINS: He gets very focused on something. He had two -- what we've ascertained is he had two thoughts going through his head all the time.

Toby has always told him, if you get lost, stay on the trial. So he stayed on the trail.

We've also told him, don't talk to strangers. He stayed on the trail. When an ATV or horse came by, he got off the trail. When they left, he got back on the trail.

And so Brennan does focus on things. And he kept those two thoughts on his mind: stay on the trail and don't talk to the strangers, which to us doesn't make any sense at all, but to him that's how his brain thinks. This are the things I'm supposed to do, this is what I'm going to do.

T. HAWKINS: And just...


J. HAWKINS: Where he was it was mostly horses and ATVs. See, they were up so high in the country that it was difficult for a lot of people on foot.

We don't know how many, but we do know he saw ATVs and horses. And he -- his biggest fear, he told me, was someone would steal him.

And that's what -- and I asked him, you know, "Cold? Hunger?" He said, "I didn't want someone to steal me."


J. HAWKINS: I asked him. He said -- his thing was, he got in midget mode, is what he calls it, does. He perches, he gets on top of our bar stools and pulls his shirt down over his knees often and he calls that midget mode. And he said, "I was freezing and I got in midget mode."

I asked him how many nights he was gone and he said one or two. So most of it is a blur to him at this point.

QUESTION: Where were you guys at when you heard the news, and your reaction? And what did you do as a family?


T. HAWKINS: Well, my experience actually was pretty interesting. We -- I was staged on a search that was in the river area. And I was working with Shawn (ph), who's part of the Summit County Search and Rescue.

And as we were -- were working our way systematically in a grid pattern, trying to eliminate this area, I kind of noticed that Shawn (ph) kind of broke back into -- you know, he just kind of atypically dropped back.

J. HAWKINS: They don't know who Shawn (ph) is.

T. HAWKINS: Shawn (ph) is part of the Summit County Search and Rescue.

So I just kept on searching, and all of a sudden he popped out of the willows and he says, "Toby I need to talk to you." And I drifted back. And I just thought that, you know, we had been running into so many dead-ends, I just thought that maybe it might have been something that was media-related, maybe Jody wanted to talk to me or something.

But then he got caught up on the radio. And he said, "We need to get to you a road and a vehicle for transportation."

And so I said, "That's great." And of course there was a lot of media around. And I didn't want that to interfere with the search process. So I said, "Well, let's stay in the field until we know for sure which truck we're getting in and that, and I'll stay here."

And then I -- he got back on the radio with communications. Cindy (ph) with Summit County Search and Rescue were going to come. And then I said, "Shawn (ph), you've got to tell me what I'm dealing with here."

And I said, "Talk to me, Goose (ph)." And he said, "If everything that I'm hearing on the radio is accurate, they have found Brennan."

My first response was, "They found him?" And he said, "Yes." And he says, "This is all preliminary. There's a possibility that -- that this is not accurate information."

And then he went in, and then he says, "But if everything on the radio is accurate, he's been found." He -- and then my first question was, "Is he alive?" He said, "He's alive."

I said, "What is his condition?" And they said, "Good. He's reasonably in good condition from what they're able to ascertain."

J. HAWKINS: That's still -- yes.

QUESTION: What's the first thing he said to you?

T. HAWKINS: Brennan? I remember him saying, "Hi, mom."

J. HAWKINS: He read Mariah's (ph) shirt that says, "No peeking until Christmas."

T. HAWKINS: Oh, that's right.

J. HAWKINS: And he said, "I have the best family in the world." That's the thing I remember him saying right away.



T. HAWKINS: I mean, he -- he was wearing a shirt...

J. HAWKINS: Our daughter was wearing a shirt that said, "No peeking until Christmas." He reads -- if he sees words he reads them, and so he just read that. He just -- he cracked a joke, he made us laugh.

T. HAWKINS: He thought it was pretty funny.

J. HAWKINS: I know. I know.

QUESTION: Jody, can you share with us your reaction when you first (INAUDIBLE)?

J. HAWKINS: Oh, mine was much different than Toby's.

I was down in the camp surrounded by a lot of volunteers. And it came over my radio. It said, "Jody get away from the crowd." And I didn't know what that meant.

And so I said, "What do you mean get away from the crowd?" They said, "Go by yourself and get on the road and get away from the crowd."

And I said, "Family, too?" And they said, "Yes."

And so I -- you can't -- you know, you've been to the site. You can't get away from the crowd. And so I went over, and they said, "We're sending a sheriff down for you."


J. HAWKINS: Oh, well, it seemed like a really long time before the sheriff got there. And I was -- I was trying to get up to where they were.

And I didn't know anything. I'm sorry.

I, at that point, didn't think Brennan was still with us. I never -- I never felt that he was abducted, that he was in harm's way. I felt at peace with the situation. But at that point, I really don't think he could have survived that long in the wilderness.

And so when I got into the sheriff's -- when I was going to get into the sheriff's car, I knew they were going to tell me that Brennan was no longer with me. And I collapsed before I could get into the truck.

And they put me into the truck. And they told me that Brennan was still alive and that he was in good shape. My brain still cannot comprehend that. And it's just been -- you know, we talk about it. Up there wasn't real. This isn't real. And it's going to take some time to process this even in our -- in our heads.

QUESTION: Did he say how it started, how he had gotten away?

J. HAWKINS: He doesn't remember even going camping. And so...

QUESTION: You say you thought he might have been dead. Is that something you verbalized and spoke about?

J. HAWKINS: We talked about that.


T. HAWKINS: Well, you know, we've talked a lot about our faith. We believe that families are eternal. We find great solace in that. With Jody's firm impression that he was not experiencing pain and not going through something that obviously no parent would want a child to go through, we felt that whatever the result was, that our faith would help us get through it.

J. HAWKINS: We learned through this situations there's worst things than death. There really are. Death is not -- is not the worst thing that can happen to a child. And we just felt piece knowing that he was safe wherever that was.

QUESTION: Does he remember eating or drinking anything?

J. HAWKINS: No, he doesn't. I asked him if he drank stream and water river and he went, "Ugh." So...


QUESTION: And he ate nothing?

T. HAWKINS: But we know that...

J. HAWKINS: Not that we know of.

T. HAWKINS: ... we know for sure because of the physical condition that he was in...

J. HAWKINS: Yes, he had to have.

T. HAWKINS: ... that he did drink. And I think that that -- that will probably come out through time.

J. HAWKINS: His electrolytes were normal after four days.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) want to personally when he got home?

J. HAWKINS: He wanted to see one of his buddies. And he's been sleeping a lot. He's exhausted.

QUESTION: We heard that he wanted to have a sleepover. What did that make you think?

J. HAWKINS: The families are coming. They said it's a family thing. We don't do sleepovers with our children. I mean, we don't let our children go out and have sleepovers anyway. So that's not new.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) after four days?

T. HAWKINS: Well, I mean, we were really excited. It took a long time for the rescue flight to get to us.

And actually, the air man (ph) couldn't get to him. They ended up having an ATV go up to the res sue site. And then we ended up grouping as a family. And then we headed down the trail to a loading -- or a landing zone.

And then we had the ATV come our direction. And immediately, the things I can remember is they tried to shield us from the sun with blankets over the top of us. Brennan was in the ATV and we embraced. You know, he was lethargic and...

J. HAWKINS: But talking. I couldn't believe he was talking.

T. HAWKINS: Yes. He was talking. And it was just -- it was like a dream.

J. HAWKINS: It was.

T. HAWKINS: You know? It was just like a dream. It was just such a happy moment. It was...




J. HAWKINS: He was.

QUESTION: And correct me if I'm wrong, has he been a survivor from (INAUDIBLE)?

J. HAWKINS: Absolutely.

QUESTION: Has that caused challenges for him in his abilities through his life?

J. HAWKINS: It has. He does. And he's a survivor. He overcomes them. He keeps going. He just -- like we said before, he has taught us from the middle of the pregnancy until today.


J. HAWKINS: Just every day with him is just...

T. HAWKINS: I think that one thing... J. HAWKINS: ... a teaching.

T. HAWKINS: Challenges can be defined in different terms.

J. HAWKINS: Right.

T. HAWKINS: Brennan has the capacity to do anything and everything that he wants. The effects of being born premature has affected his social maturity. So everybody...

J. HAWKINS: And his ability to...

T. HAWKINS: ... every one of us are on this tangent of growing up, you know? And Brennan, probably being an 11-year-old boy, acts a little bit younger. But he doesn't have -- you know, he's not retarded. He doesn't have any mental disabilities.

J. HAWKINS: He's just slow. Everything taking longer.

T. HAWKINS: Yes, he's just immature.

QUESTION: Toby, you mentioned early on that (INAUDIBLE) did not respond to search (INAUDIBLE)?

T. HAWKINS: Well, and that's a -- that's a great comment and something that -- as we have kind of reviewed the whole situation, we think that it's absolutely critical for parents to understand now that there's two -- two basic lessons that need to be taught. One of them is stranger danger, you know?

Run, scream, get out of there. Have a password for your family. You know? I think everybody know knows our password is BYU -- and we're Cougar fans. But...

J. HAWKINS: We're changing it.

T. HAWKINS: And it will be changed. And I've been encouraged to make that Utah.

Just to my friend Mike, that isn't going to happen.

But the other side of it is obviously the rescue side.


T. HAWKINS: And this may have all come to a much more quick -- a faster conclusion, had we talked more with Brennan about it.

J. HAWKINS: Nobody thinks this can happen to their child. You know, not one of you out there really believes it's going to happen to your child.

We still don't believe this can happen to our -- you know what I mean? There's nothing in your brain to process that kind of information. So we never go beyond, "Don't talk to strangers." But -- and the likelihood of you getting struck by lightning is probably a whole lot greater, but really, children need to be taught, if you're missing -- and I don't know how you teach children that.

You know, at some point, if someone's trying to find you...

T. HAWKINS: Well, and I've thought about that. I think that what I'm going to do with my kids now is, we're going to get out -- anybody who spends any time outside, and there's the potential of being lost, and most people who spend time outside -- I have been lost. I had a horrible experience once.

I was lost for four hours. And I've kind of talked to Brennan a little bit about that and empathized with him and told him that on one small level, I have had that experience. But I would like to get our children out, and then we'll just go through that whole scenario. And I think that will make a enough of an imprint, if we do it two or three times, and create a scenarios, and let them know what resources are going to be.

J. HAWKINS: Because they did remember the rest that they were taught.

T. HAWKINS: Yes. They remembered. That's...

J. HAWKINS: They do -- yes.

T. HAWKINS: That's the beautiful part, is that Brennan was just rock solid in everything that he had been taught.

J. HAWKINS: Yes. He was.

T. HAWKINS: You know? He was on a trail, he stayed away from strangers.


T. HAWKINS: He knew that it would be bad if he was taken by a stranger. You know? All these things he responded, you know, Like a champ.


J. HAWKINS: Yes. Yes.

T. HAWKINS: Yes. That -- I think that that...

J. HAWKINS: He didn't process each information. He knew two things, stay on the trail and stay away from strangers.

T. HAWKINS: Stay away from strangers.

J. HAWKINS: So between...

QUESTION: Did he say anything about all of these cameras and all the media?

J. HAWKINS: He loves watching it, which is just hilarious.

T. HAWKINS: Yes, he likes watching the TV. He thinks it's cool.

J. HAWKINS: He loves -- he goes -- his picture comes on, and he goes, "Sweet." You know? He does. It was just funny.

I don't think he can connect all of this to what's going on on TV. But last night, one of the first things we did, he says, "People know me?" And I said, "Yeah, Brennan, people do know you."

T. HAWKINS: Well, and he didn't know...


T. HAWKINS: I'm sorry, I didn't hear the question.

QUESTION: Was there anything Brennan wanted to say, maybe, convey through his parents, everybody here in the community?

T. HAWKINS: We didn't talk specifically about that.


T. HAWKINS: You know, I'm sure that once he kind of gets a handle on it, that he would want to thank everybody.



J. HAWKINS: He doesn't...

T. HAWKINS: Brennan's still asleep.

J. HAWKINS: Yes, he's been asleep most of the time.

T. HAWKINS: Brennan fell asleep at about 7:30, and he's still asleep.


J. HAWKINS: I don't know.

T. HAWKINS: I just want to go running this morning.

QUESTION: Have you talked to the man who actually found him?

J. HAWKINS: I didn't. I haven't.

T. HAWKINS: I did. I gave -- Forest (ph) I believe is his name. I gave him a big hug, and just expressed my appreciation.

J. HAWKINS: Oh, yes.

T. HAWKINS: You know, he felt like he was led and directed. I think it was his first day in the search operation.

J. HAWKINS: Most of those guys it was the first day. They thought, this is where we need to go. And they actually were not where they were assigned. They got lost.

I don't know if you knew that or not. They were assigned to a different quadrant and they were lost. And they were on -- I shouldn't say that. They were on a different trail, and that's where they found him.


J. HAWKINS: Oh, we love you. We love everyone. And it's not just those people. It's every single person up there which made that search smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller. So it was every single person.

T. HAWKINS: It really was a symphony of events.

J. HAWKINS: It was.


J. HAWKINS: Yes. The guy that he was with last night went through the scenario. And you ought to talk to him. He has -- his philosophy or theory I think is spot on.


J. HAWKINS: Martin Christianson (ph).

T. HAWKINS: Martin Christianson (ph). Martin is a friend of the family. He was the father of the family that Brennan went up with. And it's been a...

J. HAWKINS: And his son wanted to be mentioned now. His name is Brian. The friend has a name, and his name is Brian. And he would just be thrilled to see his name anywhere.



T. HAWKINS: That's the part that we -- we don't want to pressure Brennan or force him to -- we just think that time needs to run its course. And I wish we had more answers. You know?

The first thing that happened is he came in and gave a big hug to Taylor when we came home late last night. And Brennan said, "Man, where were you?" You know? And Brennan just kind of gave him a blank stare, you know.


T. HAWKINS: And, you know, he -- I don't know where he -- I don't think he has the ability right now to start at the beginning of the path and...

J. HAWKINS: No. And he might...

T. HAWKINS: ... go to the end. And thank heavens he was -- I think that helped him through the whole process.

QUESTION: Campers say that he was OK that day. After the climbing wall, he did all right. Not in any kind of emotional state or anything.

J. HAWKINS: No, he went up a little higher. He doesn't like heights. But it wasn't anything out of the ordinary.


J. HAWKINS: You know.

QUESTION: Not to relive the bad parts, but was there a moment when you lost hope? Do you remember a time when -- an event that caused you think, "We're not going to find him?"

T. HAWKINS: I don't remember an event. But I remember -- in the searching process, I remember that when we hit the 72-hour mark, I was searching with Dirk Rockhill (ph), just an incredible guy on the search and rescue. He taught me an awful lot about that process and that.

But I looked up at him, I look at my watch. It was 5:30. It must have been Monday evening. And I said, "Dirk (ph), we just hit the 72-hour mark."

And, you know, as much as you don't want to have anything like that happen, we all knew the reality of 72 hours. You know? But I guess if I were to talk to somebody else that was faced with this (INAUDIBLE), and anybody else who got in it, you just can absolutely never lose hope.

J. HAWKINS: And you don't know how strong your children are.

T. HAWKINS: And you can remember my first comments that I made, you know, about Brennan being unprepared and stuff. But somehow or another he drew some courage, some determination, and he had the ability to survive.

I've told Brennan, I said, "Brennan, you know what? I don't know how many 11-year-old boys can survive what you went through." You know? And it's remarkable that he had the ability to deal with it.


J. HAWKINS: It is. It is. And you guys know one peace of this miracle. There are as many tiny miracles that went through this as there is the fact that he's home alive. And that's what -- it would take days, so -- the fact that the rain started half an hour after he was found. I mean, just on and on and on.

T. HAWKINS: That was interesting.

J. HAWKINS: Brennan told us that the first thing he did -- the only thing he's ever been able to tell -- you tell. He told you that.



T. HAWKINS: Well, I talked to Brennan, it was kind of a quiet moment together when I was talking to him about me being lost and stuff, and -- because I was trying to milk it out of him. I wanted to know what he did.

And I said, "Brennan, did you go uphill or downhill?" I said, "Son, the first night that we went into rescue, we went downhill with flashlights. And we wondered -- we thought that's the direction that you would have gone."

And he -- I said, "Did you go uphill?" And he said, "Yes." And then I said -- I said, "Once you decided -- once you realized that you were lost, what did you do?"

And he paused for a minute. And he said, "Let me think." And then he said that he said a prayer.

And I said, "I said a prayer. And then do you know what, Brennan? Heavenly father has taken care of you." And...

J. HAWKINS: And he knows that. He's told us that.

T. HAWKINS: And "Your prayers and our prayers and everybody's prayers have brought us back together." And we believe that.

My wife said unequivocally yesterday in a brief statement...

J. HAWKINS: So true.

T. HAWKINS: "We do believe that god had his hand in everything that took place and transpired."

J. HAWKINS: Absolutely.

T. HAWKINS: I think as a world we need to understand that -- that there is a god. I think we needed to be rooted in these fundamentals principles and the teachings that the savior taught of love and of service.

And when you -- when you start working with the search and rescue guys, and those sheriff people...

J. HAWKINS: Oh, they're amazing.

T. HAWKINS: ... once you get past that tough exterior, these people are based in taking care of and loving people. They serve and they receive an incredible amount of gratification by helping people. And, you know, wouldn't that be a better world, if we were all that way?

J. HAWKINS: Most of them are not even compensated.

T. HAWKINS: That's the incredible part. J. HAWKINS: The 10 that spent the first 40 hours awake, none of them are compensated for it.

T. HAWKINS: Yes, they're not compensated. It's a -- it was a 40-hour...

J. HAWKINS: Marathon.

T. HAWKINS: ... initial push to be able to -- understanding that the time was of the essence. They just -- they surrendered everything, really, their livelihood and that. And it was just absolutely incredible and inspirational to see what they were willing to do.


J. HAWKINS: We have a family friend who's a therapist And we talked about it. And we're definitely going to do everything, and not just for him, but for all of our children.

QUESTION: Everything's OK for now?

J. HAWKINS: For now he seems fine. He does.



QUESTION: How did Kevin Bardsley help him in all of this?

T. HAWKINS: I had a chance to talk with Kevin last night.

J. HAWKINS: I did, too.

T. HAWKINS: As I was running up the hill to get into the truck to go over to the recovery and rescue of Brennan, the first things that went through my mind, honestly, were, how can I talk to Kevin and Heidi? And I talked to Kevin, and I said, "Kevin, I really cannot" -- I'm not eloquent enough to be able to express to him the gratitude that we have for everything that he did.

His resources, and the experience that they went through with Garrett, and being able to -- now we have proven, I hope, for search and rescue and law enforcement and everybody that volunteers can work in tandem with the professionals to be able to have a successful result. And all of that comes because of Kevin.

J. HAWKINS: It does.

T. HAWKINS: And the numerous people that were involved. I know that Kevin would want to spread around, you know, the gratitude and the compliments to everybody who's worked so hard.

Gary, his team captain -- I don't know what their titles are -- Gary was just rock solid. Kevin cane into the operation in the very beginning. And my heart goes out to the Bardsley family. We love them. They're kindred spirits. And I can assure you that I'll be up there helping them search for Garrett.

J. HAWKINS: Definitely. And that's where we want to take this from here on. We are -- we want to take this and move forward and find Garrett and every other child that...

T. HAWKINS: Well, yes. There really is a bigger agenda, because, you know, what -- what we would like to encourage everybody to do is, when you get into this situation, the resources are so -- so small. You know?

And everybody knows that money brings capabilities and it brings technology. And it brings all of this information to be able to help. And we would like to encourage people to contribute to so that -- so that we can muster the resources...

J. HAWKINS: Better...


T. HAWKINS: ... to do this faster.


T. HAWKINS: And I think that that's what the Bardsley family would like to have happen. I think they want the next search to be faster.


T. HAWKINS: You know, we would love to get to a point where any parent that has this experience can capitalize upon the resources of the local and the national ability to respond and just take it and run. And hopefully it's an hour.


T. HAWKINS: I'm sorry?


J. HAWKINS: He won't be going by -- he wouldn't want to.

T. HAWKINS: Do you know what? Right now that probably won't happen. But that's our lifestyle and we love it, and I hope he can get back up on the horse, quite frankly.


T. HAWKINS: Definitely. There was never any question about the competence and the capability of the Boy Scouts of America.

J. HAWKINS: Yes, there wasn't.

T. HAWKINS: Never.

J. HAWKINS: And the fact that it happened in that camp, where we had commissaries and restrooms and open fields, and people there, I mean, if it had happened, it couldn't have been in more convenient location. And that's what the Bardsleys didn't have, is a convenient location for parking, for media, for ATVs, for horses, for commissaries, for command posts. And we had all of that. It was like it was set up for that kind of a thing, so...

T. HAWKINS: You know, if we didn't have their confidence, their expertise and their willingness to be able to help us out, you know...


T. HAWKINS: ... we probably wouldn't be here right now.

J. HAWKINS: ... we took over their camp.

T. HAWKINS: We'd still be searching.

QUESTION: Do you see yourselves getting involved in helping other...

J. HAWKINS: Oh, absolutely.

T. HAWKINS: No question. No question.


J. HAWKINS: Not us, the family.

T. HAWKINS: We're not too worried about the limelight, you know.


T. HAWKINS: But we would like to be involved.

J. HAWKINS: Definitely. Definitely.

T. HAWKINS: There's great peace that comes from people that know from past experience what this is all about.



J. HAWKINS: More what I understand is it was kind of a muddy trail. It was easy to just -- just mud puddles. It wasn't wet like a river wet. It was like a fallen into puddle wet. I don't think that happened before dark, you know.


J. HAWKINS: I'm sorry. How are we doing on time? I'm sorry. We have another engagement. How are we doing on time?


J. HAWKINS: OK. I'm sorry, did someone ask... QUESTION: He doesn't remember anything else?

T. HAWKINS: So far, no, he hasn't told us anything about the water.


T. HAWKINS: You know? We do know that he drank. You know?

KAGAN: We have been listening in to a lives new conference from Bountiful, Utah. This is Brennan Hawkins' parents talking just about how grateful they are that their son, after four days in the Utah wilderness, was found alive.

A big thank you from Toby and Jody Hawkins. They talked, they shared how their son is doing, which is well.

They say they haven't talked a lot about what happened to him in the last four days. That will come in time.

He is resting. He is in good condition. They also, on a very personal note, each shared where they were and how it was for them when they heard their news that the son -- that their son was alive.

Let's go back and listen live again.

J. HAWKINS: ... very early, very late. And we appreciate it. And as far as we know, we'll see you again this afternoon.

T. HAWKINS: I wanted to be a little more definitive in the people that we thank.

You know, obviously we're grateful for the power and influence of our immediate family. Our children have just been awesome in this whole thing.

J. HAWKINS: And they'll be with us this afternoon.

T. HAWKINS: Aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, they've just been wonderful.

We have a close nucleus of friends, and we wanted to thank them. They know who they are. Their support was absolutely remarkable.

We wanted to thank the countless volunteers.

J. HAWKINS: Regardless of what your assignment was.

T. HAWKINS: Both the -- the people that at a glance we knew and those that could care less about the recognition. Those are the ones who I think really inspired us. They'd come and drop off gifts, things that would help out in the search...

J. HAWKINS: Water, food, toilet paper.

T. HAWKINS: ... and take off. You know, they didn't want a pat on the back or anything. They were just incredible.

We wanted to thank the Summit County Search and Rescue Group. They guys are awesome. We never, ever, ever questioned their ability to be able to do this, their competency.

J. HAWKINS: They are men of integrity.

T. HAWKINS: Andy maybe in one of the interviews I can tell you a little bit about the history of how the Summit County Search and Rescue got stores, with four men who were instrumental in the rescue of Brennan.

We want to thanked the sheriff's department for their professionalism and their experience.

J. HAWKINS: And their humanism. I mean, that's what I had kept thinking if this had been a big city, I just don't know if they had -- they see so much more, they become hardened. We never left a debriefing without human feelings on the account of every single man there. I mean, just the emotion was incredible. It wasn't for any gain except for to bring Brennan home.

T. HAWKINS: And then, the dog teams the swift water rescues. Obviously, we talked about Kevin Bardsley and his group. Heidi, his family, they were awesome in consoling us and giving us the assistance that we needed, and everybody. You guys, the media played a critical role in mustering on that second day near 3,000 to be able to get there and search.

J. HAWKINS: The fact that the people that found him, almost all of them, it was their first day of search, it was a contribution to you guys, because three days into it, you were still bringing people out for us, and that's very crucial.

Thank you.

T. HAWKINS: OK, thanks for everything.

J. HAWKINS: We're going to hope to have the family here this after hopefully.

KAGAN: And so once again, a big thank you from Toby and Jody Hawkins the parents of the 11-year-old Brennan Hawkins, who was found yesterday alive and well in the Utah mountains. They sharing a little bit earlier about what it was like for them when they found out yesterday and when they heard the news that there son was indeed alive. Let's go ahead and listen in to Jody Hawkins, the mother.


J. HAWKINS: It said, "Jody get away from the crowd." And I didn't know what that meant.

And so I said, "What do you mean get away from the crowd?" They said, "Go by yourself and get on the road and get away from the crowd." And I said, "Family, too?" And they said, "Yes."

And so I -- you can't -- you know, you've been to the site. You can't get away from the crowd. And so I went over, and they said, "We're sending a sheriff down for you."


J. HAWKINS: Oh, well, it seemed like a really long time before the sheriff got there. And I was -- I was trying to get up to where they were.

And I didn't know anything. I'm sorry.

I, at that point, didn't think Brennan was still with us. I never -- I never felt that he was abducted, that he was in harm's way. I felt at peace with the situation. But at that point, I really don't think he could have survived that long in the wilderness.

And so when I got into the sheriff's -- when I was going to get into the sheriff's car, I knew they were going to tell me that Brennan was no longer with me. And I collapsed before I could get into the truck.

And they put me into the truck. And they told me that Brennan was still alive and that he was in good shape. My brain still cannot comprehend that.

And it's just been -- you know, we talk about it. Up there wasn't real. This isn't real. And it's going to take some time to process this even in our heads.


KAGAN: It has been roller-coaster week for the Hawkins family. Once again, Brennan Hawkins, 11 years old, found well and alive in the Utah mountains yesterday.

Our Peter Viles is on the scene. He is there where the news conference was taking place.

Peter, fill us in a little bit on the Bardsley family, and you heard the father refer to Kevin Bardsley. This is a family that knows only to well what it's like to lose one of theirs in those Utah mountains, and it's a story that does not have the same happy ending.

PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It doesn't have the same happy ending. That boy has never been found in those mountains. But in a way, if not a happy ending, it has an inspirational ending, because that family advised the Hawkins on how to go about this, and they were instrumental in putting together this efforts of volunteers working with rescue officials that proved to be ultimately successful, that the volunteers weren't out there on their own willy nilly, that they were coordinated with the rescue officials. So, yes, that boy has not been found, and it's a terrible story, and you heard Mr. Hawkins say that he would still go out there and look. But on the other hand, there's an inspirational part of it, which is that family was able to help this family and the rescuers find their boy.

Daryn, if I could a couple of other things that really struck me. They talked about the boy about somewhat immature and unable to express himself very easily, but he did say something that really struck me. After he was rescued and reunited with his family, one of the first things he said is, "I have the best family in the world." I think we will all wish that 11-year-olds could be that articulate.

That said, they said the boy hasn't really been able to explain to them how he spent the time and what kind of an ordeal he went through, other than that he had two mantras, and this may explain, one, how he survived, but two, why it took so long to find him. One of those mantras was, stay on the trail, and he was found on a trail. The other one, though, was don't talk to strangers, and our understanding is at least on one occasion, maybe more, he saw rescuers and chose to get off the trail and essentially hide from them, but remarkable emotion here from the family.

You heard Mrs. Hawkins say this isn't real, and her husband also said it's like a dream -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Yes, and another sign that this little boy is OK and that he is on the road to recover, that he asked his mother, did his Pokemon cards arrive? The kid has his priorities straight.

VILES: He sounds like an interesting little kid. They said he was cracking jokes in the car on the way home. Of course he had to spend about 10 hours In the hospital, but we're told even in the hospital, he was on the cell phone with a buddy of his to find out if his Pokemon cards have arrived. Another time he was watching cartoon, all the while surrounded by him family. He's been sleeping. He's asleep right now, we're told, but it does he's getting his personality back -- Daryn.

KAGAN: And that the family, it sounds like they're coming back out this afternoon.

VILES: Well, we had heard that they might come back out this afternoon. We would get a chance to see the boy, if not hear from him. Maybe he would come out and wave. I didn't hear that again just now. I may have missed it as we wrapped up this event, but the original word we had from the family is they would come out here, and speak to us, which they did at some length, maybe 25 minutes, and then later in the day, we might see Brennan Hawkins himself -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Well, you were probably getting in position. But Jody Hawkins did say that she'll us later this afternoon, and perhaps they'll bring Brennan as well.

Peter, thank you. That's our Peter Viles in Bountiful, Utah.

We'll keep an eye on what's happening there. All right. OK. Well, we are going to look forward from hearing perhaps Brennan, and Toby and Jody Hawkins and making reference that they were going to come out later in the day.

Right now, as you heard Peter Viles refer to this, that Brennan is sleeping. He has been through a lot, and was not able to come out this morning, but the world, or at least Utah and Much of the country that has followed this story over the last four or five days, very eager to see the boy up and doing well.

Toby and Jody Hawkins coming out in front of their home today in Bountiful, Utah, basically to express their thanks, not just to the news media, but to the searchers, and the family and the friends that surrounded them. We will keep an eye of what's happening in Bountiful, Utah.

We have be preempting "YOUR WORLD TODAY" with Zain Verjee and Jim Clancy.

We're going to take a break. When we come back, we'll be back with our international news coverage.



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