hiking_iconSearch and rescue crews continue to look for signs is a 60-year-old hiker reported missing last week at Olympic National Park in Washington.

Here’s an update from the National Park Service’s Morning Report:

Major Search In Progress For Missing Day Hiker
Dec. 29, 2014

Sunday marked the fifth day of an ongoing interagency search for a 60-year-old Port Angeles man who failed to return from a day hike he took in the park last Monday.

Searchers from the park, Olympic Mountain Rescue, Tacoma Mountain Rescue, Clallam County SAR, Jefferson County SAR, and two dog teams from German Shepherd’s Search Dogs continued to search the Olympic Hot Springs area over the weekend.

Jim Griffin, who frequently hikes the two-and-a-half-mile trail to the hot springs, went for a day hike there on Monday, Dec. 22. On Wednesday, Dec. 24, around 10 p.m., friends reported Griffin overdue when he did not show up for Christmas Eve dinner.

Three NPS searchers began the search that evening and continued through the night. On Christmas Day, two two-person teams searched for Griffin. Several friends of Griffins, including the reporting party, assisted in the efforts on both Thursday and Friday.

On the afternoon of Christmas Day, Griffin’s day pack was located 50 feet off trail about a half mile from the trailhead. On Friday, eight search groups, including three dog teams, searched until dark. The park also attempted to use Griffin’s dog in the search, but the dog was not able to indicate where Griffin might be.

On Saturday, 21 searchers and two dogs resumed the effort to find him. The search teams completed a grid search within 500 feet of the location where Griffin’s day pack was found. They covered the entire search area in a grid pattern about ten feet apart, but no clues were found.

Park incident team members spoke to a couple on Saturday who had a conversation with Griffin at the hot springs. They believe he left the springs around 4 p.m. on Monday, which would mean he hiked back in the dark.
On Sunday, three teams were in the field and were joined by a group of Griffins’ friends. No sign of him was found. The search will be suspended today, but the investigation will continue.

Anyone who was at the Olympic Hot Springs, on the trail, or at the parking lot last Monday is asked to contact park dispatch at 360-565-3115. Even the smallest piece of information might help in the search.

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