BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – A search and rescue mission is underway for a missing hiker in Washington State.
Kris Fowler, 31, was last seen on October 12th. The Beavercreek native has been hiking the pacific crest trail since May. He started in California near the Mexican border and made it all the way up to Washington State posting pictures on Facebook along the way.
His stepmother Sally Fowler told 2 NEWS his cell phone stopped pinning last week and that’s when she became concerned.
The Yakima County Sheriff’s Office issued a national missing person’s report on Sunday and began an official search through the rocky terrain. According to family and friends, the Wright State graduate was an avid hiker. They remain optimistic that he will be found.
The sheriff’s office says that Fowler is an experienced hiker, averaging 25 miles of hiking a day, and are optimistic that he will be found alive. Weather conditions during that particular leg of Fowler’s trail were slated to be dicey, and it did not disappoint. Officials with the sheriff’s office reported rain and snow levels were high during the time Fowler was hiking that segment of trail, causing the ground to become muddy and potentially unstable.
He has now been 20 days in the wilderness with a 6-day supply of food.
“It is Washington State. He’s tech savvy and he would have posted something. He would have used somebody’s phone and posted it on Facebook- where he was,” stepmother Sally Fowler said.
Sheriff’s officials said that Fowler had reported issues with his cell phone before leaving for this section of trail, noting that he couldn’t find a working phone charger to supply battery power to it. They do not know if battery power is playing a role in his disappearance, but officials say that area is a known “dead spot” for cell phone service. It’s likely that Kris can’t get a cell phone signal wherever he is.
Fowler boarded a flight to Washington State Tuesday to join the search.