RON AND DON

Family of missing hiker continues searching in North Cascades

Aug 27, 2018, 6:03 PM | Updated: 6:06 pm

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The family of Samantha Sayers, missing since Aug. 1, is funding the search after Snohomish County announced it was ending its operation last week.

Sayers, 28, went missing during a solo hike on Vesper Peak in the North Cascades.

RELATED: Mother of Samantha Sayers not angry at sheriff for suspending search

“Honestly, one of the best things that ever could have happened for us in this search is for the Snohomish County to pull out,” Sayers’ fiance, Kevin Dayers, told KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don Show on Monday.  “We appreciate everything they did. They devoted an enormous amount of man hours and resources to this mission, but at the end of the day we knew this time was coming and we have been preparing for it.”

Since August 2, authorities have conducted about 350 hours of air operations, 105 hours of drone operations, 82 hours for the marine unit, 320 hours for the sheriff’s office search and rescue personnel, as well as numerous hours for volunteers.

Dayers explained that he and Sayers’ family launched a private search the day that Snohomish County search and rescue made the announcement, including with private helicopters, spotters, and amateur drone operators, crowd-sourced footage review, and an army of support on social media platforms.

“Our goal, as a family, is to keep pushing and to gear up for a search that surpasses what SAR and Snohomish County  Sheriff had on the ground during their search efforts,” Dayers said.

Personally, Dayers said he focuses on the search to take his mind off of any potential personal difficulties.

“I think the possibility lies in any scenario,” Dayers said. “The evidence we have points to Sam still being on the mountain, but until we recover Sam, we’ll never know that.”

Samantha’s mother, Lisa, told KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don that she still can’t believe this happened. “I pinch myself sometimes hoping that this is really a bad dream,” she said. “Having these discussions with our family, our sons — it’s become our life.”

Gofundme has been created to help with the search.

Ron and Don

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Family of missing hiker continues searching in North Cascades