Search for missing hiker in Sedona area may be suspended
SEDONA - The search for Thomas Lang, who went on a hike in the Oak Creek Canyon area but hasn't come back, may be suspended, a YCSO spokesman said. Lang, 22, has been missing since Sunday, when he was supposed to return to the Manzanita Campground from a five-day hike to be picked up. He was not carrying a cellphone and didn't take any food, but did have a water supply, said Dwight D'Evelyn, sheriff's spokesman. Lang has hiked in the area before and has some outdoor survival experience, D'Evelyn said.
About 60 ground search personnel members, a dog team, the YCSO's Rescue-1 helicopter, and technical rescue teams from the Coconino and Maricopa County Sheriff's Offices were looking for Lang on Thursday, D'Evelyn said, but without success.
"All leads have been exhausted at this time," he said Thursday evening, and command staff from both YCSO and CCSO will be "assessing the future direction of this operation overnight."
The sheriff's office has received several calls reporting sightings of Lang in convenience stores and supermarkets, and deputies are checking store surveillance tapes.
"So far, there is no indication Lang left the general vicinity of the search area," D'Evelyn said.
Lang is white, with blonde hair in dreadlocks, and hazel eyes. He is 6'1" and weighs about 140 pounds. He left carrying a red sleeping bag, a white tarp, a blue backpack, and a guitar. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a dark-blue sweatshirt.
D'Evelyn said authorities are asking anyone who may have seen Lang around Sedona after Dec. 18 to call YCSO at 771-3260 or CCSO at 1-800-338-7888.
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