A third day in a massive search for a missing solo hiker in the North Cascades has come up empty. The woman’s boyfriend and others have spent $5,000 for Ziploc provision bags they are leaving along a trail with a note they hope Samantha “Sam” Sayers will find.
A massive search was on its third day Saturday for a solo Seattle hiker, 28, in a North Cascades mountainous trek described as “definitely not for the novice.”
There were no reports of a sighting of Samantha “Sam” Sayers, an experienced day hiker. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s office said that as of 9:30 p.m. she had not been found.
Her boyfriend, Kevin Dares, and his siblings say they have spent close to $5,000 for 150 one-gallon Ziploc bags, each stuffed with Clif bars, a poncho, socks, compass, flashlight, fire sticks and a lighter. They have been given to searchers to place in the area.
On each bag is the note, “Lost person Sam Sayers. Tear off corner of this note and leave in bag so we can track you! Stay strong! We love you and everyone is looking for you.”
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The search has included 50 volunteers from various search and rescue groups in Puget Sound, as well three K-9 teams and the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said Sayers had left alone for a hike on the Vesper Peak trail at 8 a.m. Wednesday. The trailhead is 27 miles south of Darrington on the Mountain Loop Highway in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Sayers was expected to return that night and check in with her boyfriend by 6 p.m. Also an avid hiker, he had to work that day and couldn’t go along.
The two manage a Belltown apartment building, said Jessica Dares, Kevin’s sister, who flew in from Louisiana when the family learned Sayers was missing.
“By 8 he hadn’t heard from her, and so he went to the mountain to search for her,” said Dares.
Depending on the elevation, temperatures in the Vesper Peak area would have ranged from highs in the 50s to the mid-60s, to lows in the 50s, said the National Weather Service.
It was a two-hour drive and dark when Kevin Dares got there Wednesday night. Sayers’ car was parked at the trailhead. On the website alltrails.com, the hike gets glowing reviews for its “really excellent scenery,” although some hikers say the trail was hard to follow.
One wrote, “I found myself surrounded by ferns and couldn’t see anything around me. I backtracked and crossed the creek where all the logs were and it looked like there was a trail on the other side, but that disappeared too. After roaming around in the woods with no service on my phone, I decided to just head back … ”
Dares said her brother looked for Sayers in the dark, then returned and “alerted the rangers.” She said her brother again went looking for Sayers in the dark, and again had to return. She said he had a flashlight.
Kevin Dares couldn’t be reached Saturday because he was searching for Sayers, said his sister.
Sayers’ Facebook page shows a smiling young woman who is enjoying life. Her head is bald as she has alopecia, an autoimmune skin disease that causes hair loss.
Recent postings by Sayers were optimistic, and include a sales pitch, “Friends, Family, Countrymen, and most importantly- MAMAS! I have launched a second baby photo blanket after a glowing response from the first set. Both are now available on Amazon.”
Sayers’ mother arrived Saturday from Girard, Pennsylvania.
Lisa Yax Sayers had one message for her Facebook friends: “PLEASE keep sharing!!! We need more help! SAR, military, search dogs. I need my little girl found!!!”