Search underway for missing Arizona hiker
He failed to return from a hike near Crystal Lake late Monday evening
August 1, 2017
As of Tuesday at noon, the Summit County Search and Rescue team was looking for a missing Arizona man after he failed to return from a hike near the Crystal Lake area of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
At around midnight, the Sheriff's Office received a report from the family of Melvin Heaps, age 74, after he did not return from a day hike. Heaps has family in the Salt Lake Valley. He was last seen on July 31.
Lt. Andrew Wright described Heaps as an experienced hiker, somewhat familiar with the area. Wright said he had been in the area two years prior.
"He normally is back when he says that he will be back," Wright said. "They called us right before midnight and we activated Search and Rescue. … Operations are currently underway."
Deputies located Heaps' vehicle at the Crystal Lake Trailhead. Search and Rescue teams are utilizing dogs, horses and the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter to assist in the search. The DPS Dive Team is also on standby, Wright said.
Heaps is believed to be wearing a long-sleeve shirt, with blue jeans and suspenders. He typically hikes wearing a straw hat. He has brown hair, blue eyes and weighs 175 pounds. He is 5'9".
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Anyone with information is asked to contact the Summit County Sheriff's office at 435-615-3600.
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