New hope in search for missing hiker

January 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The search for a missing hiker in the San Bernardino Mountains continued Tuesday morning. Despite improving weather conditions, search crews have yet to find 62-year-old Dean Christy.Volunteers from Los Angeles and Riverside counties are joining the search Tuesday for Christy, who's been missing since Friday.

Christy went for a walk late Friday afternoon near Green Valley Lake when thick fog rolled into the area. Using his cell phone, Christy called 911 to report that he had become disoriented in the fog and needed help.

In his call, the retired teacher told authorities he was wearing a down jacket, hiking boots, hat, scarf, and gloves, but he did not have any food or water on hand.

The weekend storms have dumped three-to-four feet of snow in the mountains. Search teams on foot, snowmobile, and snowcat have been combing the area, but have not found any trace of Christy.

Authorities lost cell phone contact with Christy on Saturday, but a break in the weather Monday is helping crews and Christy's family remain positive.

"We're hoping that if he's able to that he can take advantage of these conditions, to come out of a shelter and help us find him a little bit by being out there," said Bryan Lane, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

"My daughter came into my room and she said mom look you can see outside, there's blue skies, there's a chance they can find him," said Joan Christy, Dean's wife.

Christy's family is praying for his safe return. They say he's a Vietnam veteran and an experienced hiker with survival skills.

One helicopter was up searching Monday, and more helicopters will likely be out again Tuesday.


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