Officials suspend recovery effort for missing hiker
Nevada Appeal News Service
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – Local emergency officials have suspended recovery efforts for a Reno man who has reportedly been lost for a week and a half in the cold and snowy Sierra backcountry, officials said Wednesday.
Rick Gentry, 55, of Reno, was last seen Sunday, Nov. 21, when he left to go hiking in the Galena Creek Park area south of Reno as a strong winter storm began to hammer the region.
“The Sheriff’s Office Incident Commander reports the probability of detection remains low due to rugged terrain and the unsafe nature of the search areas,” the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office said in a Wednesday press release. “Therefore, the Sheriff’s Office has suspended the search and recovery efforts of Mr. Rick Gentry.”
According to previous reports, Gentry phoned law enforcement at about 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 21, saying he was lost and not dressed for the extreme cold.
Over the course of the next week, rescue workers deployed numerous resources including Washoe County Sheriff’s Office deputies, the office’s RAVEN helicopter, Mt. Rose ski patrol and members of the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District.
On the evening of Monday, Nov. 22, rescue workers located a snowshoe, a fanny pack and a black glove believed to have belonged to Gentry; the discarded equipment is a symptom that Gentry may have been suffering from hypothermia, officials said.
After a break over the holiday weekend due to unsafe conditions, the search re-started on Sunday, Nov. 28.
According to Wednesday’s press release, the RAVEN helicopter will continue to fly regular contour search patterns in the areas of Galena, Thomas and Whites creeks as their routine duties, weather permitting.
“The Sheriff’s Office is planning on another search effort upon more favorable weather conditions,” the release reads.
The sheriff’s office is urging private citizens not to conduct individual efforts to locate Gentry, due to the potential for harsh weather conditions.
Galena Creek Park is located off Highway 431, about halfway between Incline Village and Reno.