source Hat tip: Ernie Coffman
Father and daughter missing for more than a week in mountains; family still hopeful.
A helicopter search Thursday of a four-mile hiking trail on a 14,000-foot peak found no sign of a father and daughter missing on a hiking trip, but the woman's aunt says family members still hope for a successful rescue.Chaffee County Sheriff Pete Palmer says Dr. Michael Von Gortler, 53, and his daughter, 20-year-old Makana, a University of Colorado student, went to hike up Missouri Mountain on June 22.The last time they were heard from was when Makana texted her boyfriend on June 21 to say they were going hiking, Palmer said. The pair were due to return home June 23.Missouri Mountain is in the San Isabel National Forest near Buena Vista, Colo. At 14,073 feet high, the peak is one of 53 mountains in the state over 14,000 ft.Colorado National Guard spokesman Darin Overstreet says a National Guard helicopter joined the search when it resumed Thursday. Dave Cotten, spokesman for the Chaffee County Sheriff, said Thursday that search teams have found no new evidence of the pair's whereabouts. An 'off-trail' pair Makana's maternal aunt, Suzanne Kutz, said a new search and rescue team and five dogs would also join the search Thursday. The dogs are being airlifted to areas where the pair are believed to be.
Cotten said 24 people are looking for Mike and Makana, but bad weather has slowed their progress. "They are looking mostly in the treeline area, which is almost vertical; it's three to four miles long," Kutz said.The treeline area is where "Mike" and Makana may have gone off-trail on their descent, Kutz said."His intent would be to take the trail up to the summit and create our own special trail on the way down," she said. "If he did that, they could be way out in the woods on the mountain.