According to a report in the Seattle Times, Kim's cell phone helped direct the search effort:
Though the cellphone was not able to connect from the remote location, experts hired by the family were able to pin down a cellular tower that had picked up a signal from the phone. They then used a computer model to approximate the location of the cellphone, and that helped lead searchers to an area near Bear Camp Road, where Kati Kim and the children were found.
While Kim's wife and daughters have been flown to safety, the search for the journalist continues. He left the family vehicle in search of help three days ago.