Search teams have restarted the hunt for a University of Washington anthropology professor who disappeared while hiking in Mount Rainier National Park earlier this month.
Dr. Sam Dubal, 33, went missing sometime after he began his hike on Oct. 9. His family waited for him to return on Oct. 10. They reported him missing on Oct. 11.
Storm Halts Search
Officials had called off the ground search for Dubal on Friday, Oct. 23 after a snowstorm hit the area, ABC News reported. Park officials also cited the fact that they had found no signs of Dubal during a week-and-a-half search.
Dubal was hiking in the Mowich Lake area of the park. The lake sits in a glacial basin bounded by wildflower meadows. It is the largest and deepest lake in the park. The National Park Service advises hikers who venture to Mowich Lake to stay on the trails at all times.
“We know that he had a backcountry permit to spend the night at Carbon River Camp and we know that he was planning to do the Mother Mountain loop,” ranger Kevin Bacher of the National Park Service told WMAZ.
The search for Dubal combined ground teams, dogs, drones, helicopters and infrared cameras, NBC News reported.
Family Calls on Authorities to Keep Looking
When park officials stopped the search, Dubal’s family started a petition calling on authorities to keep looking for him. As of Thursday afternoon, the petition had drawn 51,208 online signatures.
“We’re in a survivable period with a really survivable guy that is young, fit and has gear on him,” Dubal’s sister Dena told NBC.
Now rescue crews are back to the search, with an improved weather forecast and renewed determination.
Park officials are asking anyone who has information relevant to the search to contact the NPS Investigative Service Branch Tip Line at (888) 653-0009. Tipsters can also email [email protected] or contribute tips online at www.nps.gov/isb.