Prayers Needed: Police Still Searching for Missing Hiker As Her Birthday Passes

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August 13, 2018Aug 13, 2018

Police in Washington are searching for a female hiker, who disappeared while solo hiking in the area.

Samantha “Sam” Sayers went missing on August 1. Sayers, who was diagnosed with alopecia in high school, was hiking at Vesper Peak in North Cascades National Park. Her family became alarmed when she didn't return, reported PEOPLE

Today is the young woman's 28th birthday, but she's not around to celebrate it with her family. They had hoped she would be back for the party they had planned for her.

“Samantha is a very avid hiker,” her mother, Lisa Sayers. “She wanted to go off alone. I know people have said she shouldn’t have, but hikers do that.”

Sayers, who lives in nearby Seattle, had made the same hike before. Her mother explained that it was a very vigorous hike up a 6,220 feet summit.

“When we say she’s a hiker, people think of someone walking through the woods,” her mother added. “This hike consists of rock climbing, mountain climbing and scrambling,” she shared.

On Friday, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on the continuing search for Sayers.

“Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel continue to search today for missing hiker, 27-year-old Samantha Sayers, who did not return from her day hike at Vesper Peak last Wednesday, August 1,” they wrote.

They added, “The Sheriff’s Office helicopter, SNOHAWK1, continues air search operations today. The Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit has a vessel on the water searching the shoreline of Spada Lake. Additional teams are on day two of reviewing the high-definition photos and videos taken on Wednesday by King County’s UAS (Drones).”

On Saturday, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office told PEOPLE that are continuing to search for the young woman. This is the longest search Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has conducted for a missing person in recent years.

“We are going to exhaust all the resources we can to bring her home,” spokeswoman Courtney O’Keefe told The Seattle Times.

Sayers was seen while on her hike by multiple other people. She left for the hike around 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

One group say her around mid-day, while another hiker reportedly had lunch with her before seeing her heading south from the summit.

“That individual has been working closely with the sheriff’s office over the past few days to identify the location of where they had lunch,” they added.

There are 16 organizations looking for Sam, including the Snohomish County Search and Rescue, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, and the Coast Guard.

Sam's boyfriend, Kevin Dares, went out to look for her on Wednesday at 7 p.m., an hour after she was supposed to check in with him. He arrived at the trail and saw her car parked.

Dares hiked two miles in the dark looking for her. When he went that far without locating her, he realized he was going to need help and contacted the ranger station.

Dares also said that Sam is a careful hiker. The couple had also hiked that peak a half-dozen times together, so he was sure she knew the path.

“That’s why this is so frustrating,” Dares explained. “For her to go off trail doesn’t make any sense.”

Sam’s boyfriend started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for bags of food and survival gear. Rescuers have been leaving in various locations in the hopes of helping Sam survive while rescue teams continue to look for her.

Please say a prayer for her safe return. It's so tragic for her family and boyfriend that she disappeared so suddenly. Prayers are also needed for a family in Iowa. Their daughter disappeared almost a month ago, and they are offering a massive reward for her safe return.