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Death Valley Search In Progress For Missing Man

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avatar Death Valley Search In Progress For Missing Man
August 10, 2010 06:49PM
Death Valley National Park (CA)
Search In Progress For Missing Man

The park received an “attempt to locate” message for a suicidal man just before 5 p.m. on the afternoon of Saturday, August 7th. The 72-year-old Carson City man had sent a letter to his estranged wife saying that he was heading to the park to kill himself. As rangers were conducting a hasty search of the Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells areas of the park, a county deputy found the man’s van in the Badwater parking lot at the south end of the park. A suicide note was found inside. The deputy and rangers searched the surrounding area, but found no sign of him, so additional help was summoned. One of the responding ambulances and two of the responding rangers were diverted to a separate medical emergency at the Furnace Creek Inn, where a visitor was treated for seizures and medevaced out to a hospital in Las Vegas. The search continued until sundown, then resumed the next day. The high temperature during the first day of searching was 112 degrees. On Sunday, additional ground crews and CHP and China Lake Naval Air Station helicopters joined in the effort, which focused on the area from Badwater Basin to the alluvial fans at the base of the Panamint Range, plus some of the side canyons in the Black Mountains immediately east of Badwater. No sign of the man was found. Ground crews were pulled out of the field at 1 p.m. due to exhaustion and heat concerns; the air search continued until storms grounded aircraft at 3:30 p.m. Yesterday, three ground teams and a SAR dog team from Nye County resumed the search. An investigation is underway, which is also looking into the possibility that the man is not in the park.
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