Braden was reported missing at 7:09 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, and found safe without any major injuries at approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28. He was believed to have been on a solo day hike to Indian Flats Falls on the Middle Prong Trail in the Tremont area of the park. The search for the 56-year-old Powell, Tennessee, resident began early Oct. 28 and ended before dark, with rangers assisting him to the trailhead for further assessment.
More than 30 people participated in the response, including members of BUSAR, an all-hazards Search and Rescue team that assists with operations inside the park. Responders searched over 20 acres of off-trail areas along with 30 miles of park trails. The Incident Command Team established a mobile base of operations in the Tremont area utilizing a new Incident Command trailer donated by the Friends of the Smokies.