Backpacking Newton Man Found - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Backpacking Newton Man Found

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Addie Olson


Susanne Landgrebe said her son, Daniel, called on June 24 to tell her he was about to enter the National Forest in Montana. Then he broke the one rule she had for him traveling alone.

"The agreement was that he was going to call no longer than every five days apart," said Susanne.

She waited for the routine call from her 20-year-old son.

Daniel told his mother he would contact her before he went into the National Forest, but after they talked on the 24th her phone never rang.

"When it turned into eight days and 10 days and 12 days and 13 days, I was really concerned that something horrible had happened to him," Susanne said.

Daniel left in May to backpack across the country while working on a book. Susanne said he's been doing things that worried her, like hopping freight trains and hitch hiking.

That's why she filed a missing person's report after he broke their agreement.

Saturday a call from a number she didn't recognize put those worries at ease.

"When it was Daniel at the other end I was totally, totally shocked," she said. "I had no clue it was going to be him."

She made him send her a picture from a stranger's phone at the gas station he called from just to be sure it was really true.

"I just said people are looking for you, even in the National Forest and all the towns where you are," said Susanne. "He's like, 'Nope, nobody told me anything.'"

He asked people at the gas station near the forest if they had heard of Daniel Landgrebe.

"I heard several voices say, 'Yeah, he's missing,' and Daniel said, 'Well, that's me,'," she recalled.

After thinking about every awful thing that could have happened to her writer son, Susanne said she's glad this story has a happy ending.

Daniel said he trusted someone he met to call and tell his mom that he would be heading into the forest, but the man never made the call.

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