Search for missing hiker winding down - East Valley Tribune: News

Search for missing hiker winding down

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Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 5:15 pm | Updated: 1:04 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Searchers at the Lost Dutchman State Park switched tactics Tuesday as the chances of finding a missing hiker alive dwindled.

Lt. Tamatha Villar, spokeswoman for the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, said the search has diminished in the amount of manpower and intensity.

Kelley Tate, 53, was reported missing by his wife Thursday evening after he didn't return from his planned daylong hike.

Authorities found his motorcycle parked in the lot outside the park.

Villar said foul play doesn't appear to be involved because his motorcycle was not tampered with and there has been no unusual activity on his credit cards. He was also planning on leaving for an overseas trip to visit a daughter on Tuesday.

Villar said search and rescue operations are highly intense the first 72 hours as the probability of finding a missing person is highest.

Tate went hiking with only enough water for a few hours and two hard boiled eggs.

Searchers found egg shells in two different locations.

The decision was made Tuesday to go into a recovery mode, meaning there are fewer searchers and they take fewer chances.

They might also bring in cadaver dogs, she said.

Tate, reportedly an experienced hiker, is a pharmaceutical chemist who works in China. He's originally from Mesa and owns a home in the city. He was visiting family when he went on the hike.

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