With no solid leads at the end day seven in the search for missing mountaineer Ric DeVan, Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze called off the search effort. The search was officially called off on Friday night, but Inyo SAR volunteers continued the effort Sunday morning after new evidence came to light.
Family and Friends of the missing 44 year old man from San Diego continue to search the mountains above South Lake as well.
Ric DeVan has been missing in the Bishop Pass area since July Fourth.
The missing climber was last seen on July third in the Bishop Pass area. DeVan set out on an overnight trip from Bishop Pass toward Mt. Goode on the third of July. He was supposed to meet his wife and daughter at Treasure Lakes on the Fourth but did not arrive.
The last sure sign of DeVans passage was his signature in the summit register on the 13,000 foot peak of Mt. Goode. In that summit register, Devan indicated that he would next traverse to neighboring Mt. Johnson. There is a difficult ridge between Mt. Goode and Mt. Johnson. Local search teams who traversed the ridge toward Mt. Johnson describe the terrain as treacherous and extremely unstable.
With so little found, the search area has expanded out from Mt. Agassiz to the South of Bishop Pass to Mt. Gilbert to the North of DeVans intended destination.
Over the weekend family and friends back packed or hiked into the mountains to keep the search going. One group took digital photos of the Mt. Goode area in hopes of finding evidence in the photos. Another volunteer group with an unmanned aerial vehicle was reported to be in the area to fly over and take digital photos of the terrain in hopes of finding something the ground searchers missed over the seven days of searching.
The search was suspended on Friday, but Inyo Sheriff Corporal Terry Waterbury had reported that as further leads came in, they would be thoroughly investigated.
After hearing a report of a major rockslide in the Bishop Pass area on the Fourth of July, Inyo SAR Volunteers headed back into the area on Sunday to check out the rock slide area. At last report, nothing significant was found.
Teams from around the state had spent seven days searching the back country for signs of the missing man. Sheriff Lutze says that search teams gave everything they could to locate Mr. DeVan. The scope of this search has been one of the largest known in Inyo County. Lutze went on to say that this is very difficult to reconcile for every one involved in the operation.