A Connecticut Marine Corps officer who went on a hiking trip in California has been missing for more than a week and several agencies have crews out searching for him.
Twenty-four-year-old Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant Matthew Kraft, from Washington, Connecticut, is believed to have hiked out of Kearsarge Pass, in central Sierra Nevada, on Feb. 24 and planned to end his hike near the Twin Lakes in Bridgeport, California on March 4, according to a post on the National Wildlife Coordinating Group website.
Kraft’s father reached out to officials on March 4 because he had not heard from his son and the Mono County Sheriff’s Office began checking trails that day.
On Friday, searchers found Kraft’s vehicle at the Grays Meadows campground above Independence, California, but they have not found him.
Officials said weather conditions in the Sierra have been a challenge and teams searching from the ground and the air have “noted avalanche activity throughout the wilderness, including along the Sierra High Route.”
“Snow instability will remain a challenge as search teams attempt to clear portions of the route,” Inyo Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Coordinator, Sergeant Nate Derr said in a statement.
Kraft commissioned as a Marine Corps officer on May 6, 2016 and graduated from some of the Marine Corps' most rigorous training, including Infantry Officer Course and Winter Mountain Leaders Course, according to the National Wildlife Coordinating Group.
Anyone who thinks he or she might have seen 1st Lt. Kraft or has been in the search area since Feb. 23 is asked to call 888-653-0009 or visit https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1563/submit-a-tip.htm.