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Search Continues for Nome Hiker

Searchers continue to look for missing hiker, Joseph Balderas halfway between Nome  and Council. Image-Google Maps

Searchers continue to look for missing hiker, Joseph Balderas halfway between Nome and Council. Image-Google Maps

The search for missing Nome hiker, Joseph Balderas will continue today, although the air asset, a chartered R44 helicopter has discontinued its search efforts as have the USCG helicopter that was diverted from its training mission in Kotzebue.

Nearly two dozen ground searchers on foot and ATVs, as well as three dog teams from Fairbanks PAWS have taken part in the search for the 36-year-old man since his reported disappearance on Monday. Multiple air assets, that included the USCG, National Park Service, a chartered helicopter as well as a fixed–wing aircraft, have taken part in the search in the past three days.

Balderas’s vehicle was located near mile 44 of the Nome-Council Highway halfway between Nome and Council near Skookum Pass on Monday morning. Since that time, ground searchers and dogs have scoured the heavy brush in the immediate area of the vehicle while air assets searched a larger area. Dogs picked up Baldera’s scent briefly, but the scent was quickly lost.

Balderas went out on Sunday to hike and mountain run, he was reported missing after not reporting for work as scheduled on Monday.