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Search Resumes For Man Missing In Anza-Borrego Desert

The search for a San Diego man who disappeared last weekend while exploring unforgiving terrain in East County's Anza-Borrego Desert State Park with family and friends resumed this morning, a sheriff's lieutenant said.

Guillermo Pino, 26, went missing about noon Sunday during a visit to the Arroyo Tapiado area of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, a locale also known as "the Badlands,'' according to San Diego County sheriff's officials. Since then, scores of searchers from various government agencies have worked their way through desert caves, tunnels and gorges in hopes of finding Pino alive.

The search was halted around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday due to darkness but resumed around 7 o'clock this morning, said sheriff's Lt. Jeff Maxin.

Pino apparently got lost or incapacitated after separating from his companions and venturing off by himself into the network of dirt channels and caverns that run through the rugged area's unstable hillsides and bluffs, Maxin said.

Pino's family reported him missing several hours later. Searchers began combing the remote site on foot and scanning it from aboard a helicopter that evening, then continued the effort this week.

There have been no reported signs of the missing man, who has no known medical conditions.

Pino's family described him as a "fairly experienced hiker,'' though at the time of his disappearance he was exploring the rugged territory without shoes, water, food, a flashlight or a cell phone, sheriff's spokeswoman Melissa Aquino said.

Taking part in the search are a total of roughly 60 personnel with the state parks system, the U.S. Border Patrol, the American Red Cross, San Diego

Mountain Rescue, the Sycuan Fire Department, and sheriff's deputies from San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Airborne crews were unable to aid in Wednesday's operations due to inclement weather. It was unclear early today whether they would be able to join in today's search.

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