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Search Continues For Man Who Disappeared While Hiking In East San Diego County

Chris Sylvia is pictured in both of the above undated photos.
Chris Sylvia is pictured in both of the above undated photos.

Authorities searched wilderness areas east of Palomar Mountain in vain for a third day Thursday in hopes of finding a hiker who disappeared during a solo trek on the southern end of the Mexico-to-Canada Pacific Crest Trail.

Chris Sylvia, 28, was reported missing Tuesday after he failed to arrive as planned at his intended destination of Campo, according to sheriff's officials. Sylvia, described as an experienced outdoorsman, had started his hike in Anza on Feb. 12.

Four days later, he phoned a friend he lives with and asked him to meet the next day with some provisions at a Buddhist temple on Chihuahua Valley Road in the Warner Springs area. When Sylvia failed to show up there at the agreed- upon time, the roommate assumed he'd simply decided against stopping and continued on.

Other hikers subsequently found Sylvia's identification amid some hiking gear believed to belong to him in an open area near the temple.

Thursday morning, San Diego-area authorities resumed looking for Sylvia by ground and air, aided by search teams from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The personnel suspended the effort at nightfall. They planned to start up again about 8 a.m. Friday, setting out with added urgency due to forecasters' predictions for stormy weather over the weekend.

"So they're really hoping to find him tomorrow," San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Robert Smith said. Sylvia is a 5-foot-8-inch, roughly 155-pound white man with brown hair, hazel eyes, a goatee and a mustache. He left on his trip wearing green camouflage pants, a dark fleece jacket and brown hiking boots.

Anyone who might be able to help find Sylvia was asked to call the San Diego County Sheriff's Department at (858) 565-5200.

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