UTAH COUNTY — Volunteers in Utah County continue to search for a hiker who was last heard from three weeks ago. Family and friends of Jake Routt, 36, say they're obsessed with finding him and feel they're getting closer.
His backpack and sandals have been found, but few other clues that could explain what happened to the experienced hiker who last communicated in mid-September. Authorities said Routt texted a friend on Sept. 16 telling her he was going on a hike and would talk to her later, but the friend never heard back from him.
Known to be an adventurous soul who would stay at Airbnb rentals at the last minute, his family and friends didn't worry initially but became concerned as time passed with no contact from him. After being reported missing, police found Routt's car at the Aspen Grove Trailhead parking lot at Mount Timpanogos and a helicopter spotted some of his belongings near Aspen Grove.
Since then, the family has received lots of help from search and rescue personnel, as well as volunteers, a helicopter, drones and even the two clairvoyants, said Routt's friend Patrick Stauffer. Searchers have covered miles scanning the thick brush and sheer slopes to no avail, he said.
At this point, the family is not expecting a rescue but still hope to find him to get a clear picture of what happened, said brother Josh Routt.
Routt's friends said they won't stop looking for him, even if they don't find him in the next couple of days. As long as the weather holds out, they will be out looking for him.
Contributing: Ashton Goodell, Ashley Imlay
Correction: A previous version incorrectly stated Jake Routt's saddles have been found. His sandals have been found.