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Searchers seek Magna man in canyon

Searchers were out in Nef's Canyon late Wednesday night looking for a 27-year-old Magna man who has been missing since Monday, police said.

Benjamin Hoecherl left his home Monday morning, telling his wife he was heading out to run errands, but never came home, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson.

His family filed a missing person's report around 4 a.m. Tuesday and told police that while he and his wife, who is seven months pregnant, had some financial issues, Hoecherl has never had suicidal tendencies, Hutson said.

Hoecherl's family became more concerned after he missed work Tuesday and failed to contact them in any way, police said. His family then decided to look near the mountains, as Hoecherl enjoyed hiking, and were able to locate Hoecherl's vehicle at the Nef's Canyon trailhead.

"We didn't have any actionable intelligence up until that point, but when we found the car, we brought some search-and-rescue guys out and a helicopter to search the area," Hutson said.

Hutson said police also searched Hoecherl's car and didn't find a note or any sort of receipts or other items indicating that Hoecherl had planned to spend some time in the mountains. Hutson said the car is a lead, but its location doesn't necessarily mean Hoecherl is in the mountains or that he was the one that drove it there.

Hutson said searchers looked for Hoecherl until about 11 p.m. Wednesday and will "take a step back and decide what to do from here" Thursday morning. Hutson said Hoecherl's family and friends stayed in the canyon, many of them planning to camp there overnight.

—Emiley Morgan