Searchers look for San Francisco man missing from Death Valley
By Associated PressAssociated Press
Posted: 03/20/2012 09:13:05 PM PDT
March 21, 2012 1:58 PM GMT Updated: 03/21/2012 06:58:19 AM PDT
LAS VEGAS -- A 67-year-old bicyclist from San Francisco remained missing Tuesday, more than a week after he stepped away from a campfire in Death Valley National Park and vanished, a sheriff's official in California said.
George Kohler was last seen on the evening of March 12, when he told members of his bicycle tour group that he was going to his tent at Mesquite Spring campground, Inyo County sheriff's spokeswoman Carma Roper said in a statement.
The next morning, Kohler's bicycle and camping gear were still there, but he wasn't. There was no indication that he slept in his tent, Roper said.
Roper told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Kohler's disappearance was puzzling.
The group of bicyclists stopped for the night at the campground at the northern end of the park, about 180 miles northwest of Las Vegas and not far from the park's Scotty's Castle attraction.
Sheriff's investigators want to talk with anyone who was on the road to Scotty's Castle and may have seen Kohler or given him a ride.
Kohler is described as being about 5-foot-7 and 160 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue jacket, navy blue T-shirt and black pants.
The weather was mild when Kohler disappeared, with daytime highs in the 70s and overnight lows in the 40s.
Mesquite Spring is a developed campground with restrooms, picnic tables, potable water and a resident camp host. Roper said about 50 other people were staying there the night Kohler disappeared.
Seven local, state and federal agencies have taken part in the search, including rescue dogs on the ground and aircraft from Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, the China Lake Naval Weapons Base near Ridgecrest, and the California Highway Patrol.