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Weather improves; no sign of missing hiker

January 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A 62-year-old hiker has been missing in the San Bernardino Mountains for four days, and still no sign of him has been found.Search teams have now concentrated their efforts near the mountain resort community of Green Valley Lake.

The big story Monday was the big change in weather. After two days of heavy snow and dense fog, the sun is finally shining. A lot of the snow is starting to melt, and search-and-rescue crews are hoping that will make it easier for them to find the missing hiker.

Day 4 of the search for 62-year-old Dean Christy brought clear skies, warmer temperatures, and rays of sunshine, as well as rays of hope that he'll be found.

"We were so excited. My daughter came in to my room and she said, 'Mom, look -- you can see outside -- there's blue skies,'" said Joan Christy, Dean's wife. " 'There's a chance they can find him today.' When the sun came up we were just so thrilled. I've never been so happy in my life to see a helicopter."

Along with the helicopter, there are still many search-and-rescue volunteers searching miles away.

"The weather's improved tremendously. We have clear skies, sun is shining, the temperature is coming up," said Bryan Lane, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dept. "It makes it much more favorable for our teams that are in the field, as well as for Mr. Christy. We're hoping that if he's able to, he'll take advantage of these conditions to come out of a shelter and help us find him a little bit by being out there."

Christy left his home on a hike last Friday and hasn't been seen since. He is an experienced hiker and knows how to survive.

Search and rescue crews say they're going to do all they can.

"We're going to continue to expand the search until we come across some sort of clue or evidence that Mr. Christy's out there in that direction," said Lane. "But still, at this point, we really have no idea where he is."

Search and rescue teams have expanded their search north and eastward of Green Valley Lake, and they also say that help from Los Angeles and Riverside Counties is on its way in.

Eyewitness News Reporter Leanne Suter contributed to this report.


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