Fourth search day for hiker unsuccessful; search suspended

10:25 AM, Sep 26, 2013   |    comments
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Photo: Chaffee County Sheriff's Office

SALIDA, Colo. -- A fourth day of searching for an Ohio man who went missing while hiking in Colorado was unsuccessful, according to the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office.

Forty-five hikers from Araphoe and Chaffee counties searched for Gene George today with the assistance of a search dog team and a U.S. Army National Guard helicopter.

George, 64, of Bay Village spoke to a friend in Cleveland from a hotel room on Sept. 18, saying he planned to hike the Mount Harvard area on Thursday or Friday. A concerned hotel employee notified Buena Vista police on Sunday when George failed to check out of his hotel room.

Authorities discovered George's vehicle parked and locked at the North Cottonwood Creek trailhead.

Undersheriff John Spezze, the overall incident commander, said that absent additional clues to George's location, the active field search operation is suspended as of today.

Although the search has been called off, investigation into the disappearance will continue, and informational posters with his photograph will be posted in the park and at local outdoors shops, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The Associated Press

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