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Central PA Native Helps National Rescue

Penn State grad masters cell phone forensics.
ALTOONA - Cell phone forensic tracking from the Civil Air Patrol is credited with helping to locate a missing Nevada family of six Tuesday, and a Clearfield County native, and Penn State grad is getting a lot of the credit for narrowing the search.
 
Major Justin Ogden has been interested in search and rescue since he was a teenager growing up near Clearfield.
 
He joined the local Civil Air Patrol when he was 16 and since 2006 he has lead his own team in helping with search and rescue missions nationwide.
 
“Anytime that they have a search going on for a missing person or a missing aircraft in the United States my team gets spun up and starts looking at cell phone info to figure out if there's someway that date can be applied to the search and help influence the search and find the objectives quicker,” Ogden says.
 
Ogden takes the data collected from cell towers and pieces together a map of where the missing people may be.
 
"That plays in with the other information the incident commander has to determine where we need to send the resources first," Ogden says.
 
Ogden has worked on more than 400 search missions, and says results like the one Tuesday in Nevada are rare.
 
“It's far too often that we get involved in these types of incidents and it's not a happy outcome. For an incident like this to have lasted for more than a day and almost a 48 hour period, to come out with 6 survivors that's a fantastic outcome,” Ogden says.
 
And the Penn State grad says it's that feeling when people are found safe that's the most rewarding.
 
"It feels great to be able to piece all of those things together and have a skill set that's valuable and can mean the difference between life and death in some cases," Ogden says.
 
Ogden says the civil air patrol has been used more and more recently to track missing people across the country.

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