Search for missing hiker in Skeggs Point area

July 18, 2009 12:32:44 AM PDT
A missing hiker is still out there somewhere in the wilderness of San Mateo County. Douglas May hasn't been seen since he set out on a hike in the Skeggs Point area more than 24 hours ago.

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The search for May ended for the night at sunset, but it started at 2 a.m. Teams found no sign of the missing 55 year old who disappeared on Thursday.

The search for May is taking search and rescue teams in every direction of El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space in San Mateo County.

"We're going to start our search area near where the car was," said Gary Bloom with San Mateo County Search and Rescue.

May's car was left on Skyline Boulevard on Thursday evening. It was where he usually parks when he hikes these trails, but when the 55 year old didn't return home late last night, his father called police.

"It's very easy to get turned around in this area especially in the dark. You can become disoriented and that may have happened where he lost his sense of direction," said Lt. Ed Barberini with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department.

Now 50 teams from nine different agencies are trying to find him with 30 miles of rugged terrain that needs to be covered. It's a slow process with a definite game plan. Everyone goes out in pairs and scours a certain segment of the park.

"The terrain is pretty tough and we're going to be off trail almost the whole time, so once we get down to the bottom here, we'll traverse back up to the trail head," said Bloom.

Regardless of the path, there seems to be no sign of him. Sheriff's deputies are asking hikers and mountain bikers for help. Since May is considered a regular in these parts, there's a chance someone could recognize him while out on the trails.

"We see the influx of mountain bikers all the time. This guy doesn't look familiar, but we'll keep an eye out for him," said Rodney Dimalanta, a mountain biker.

But by 8 p.m., a full 18 hours after the search began, teams left for the night and May is still missing. The search for him will start again at 6 a.m.

Anyone with information on May's location should call Detective Marcus Gathright at (650) 363-7823.

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