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Search expands for missing University Place hiker

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on July 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
July 8, 2012 7:02 pm

Search efforts expanded today for a University Place hiker who hasn’t been seen since Friday, when he went for a solo hike in the Cascade foothills.

Several members of the King County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit were airlifted into the Green Mountain area of Snoqualmie National Forest after a hiker reported seeing 50-year-old John Wright on a trail Friday.

That trail is considered to difficult to navigate, officials said, and searchers focused there after a hiker reported passing Wright and speaking with him for a few minutes. Wright apparently indicated that he planned to explore the Green Mountain section of the forest.

Two helicopters and about 40 searchers joined today’s search.

Sgt. Cindi West, a sheriff’s spokesman, said searchers are hoping Wright is stuck in the rough terrain and waiting to be rescued.

He is an experienced hiker who was reported missing by his wife Friday after not picking up their daughter.

Wright’s Nissan Xterra was found near the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River. A ping on his cell phone was picked up Saturday in the Cedar Falls watershed area off Interstate 90.

Searchers plan to continue looking for Wright Monday.

John Wright is employed by the solid waste division of the Pierce County Health Department, his wife, Virginia Wright said. She also said her husband usually hikes well-prepared, with a blanket and extra food provisions.

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