48 hours later, still no sign of missing Mt. Lemmon hiker
MOUNT LEMMON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Search and rescue crews are looking for a 54-year-old man who went hiking yesterday morning and hasn't returned.
Deputy Jesus Banuelos with the Pima County Sheriff's Department tells KGUN9 that the man, now identified as Scott Bertrand, last spoke with his wife via text messaging at 11 a.m. Thursday morning.
His wife was unable to provide a specific location because they are visiting from Texas and are unfamiliar with the area. She did tell deputies that her husband was prepared for the hike.
An attempt to locate bulletin went out to all local law enforcement agencies and popular tourist locations were searched but the man was not found.
Search and Rescue crews were sent out early Friday morning and were able to learn a possible location from the man's GPS coordinates on his cell phone.
Crews found his vehicle a few hours later, but there is no sign of the hiker.
Crews continued their search Saturday morning and worked through the afternoon. Ten volunteers from Southern Arizona Rescue Association, 2 search and rescue canines, 4 deputies on ATVs and two helicopters are all helping with the search.
The Mt. Lemmon has area has been drenched by storms in recent days. The area received 1.8 inches of rain on Saturday afternoon.
"Weather has made it difficult," said Banuelos.
Bertrand had a cell phone on him on the hike. Deputies say they were able to narrow down the search area thanks to GPS coordinates from that phone, but now it appears the phone is either off or the battery died.
Banuelos tells KGUN9 Bertrand's wife remains optimistic. She says her husband is in excellent shape and a marathon runner.
"She is obviously really worried," said Banuelos. "But does believe he is a fighter."
The man was last seen wearing a white shirt, blue shorts and carrying a yellow back pack. If you've seen him or have any information that can help, call the Pima County Sheriff's Department or 911.