THE case of a missing hiker who disappeared in 2014 took an interesting and chilling turn when wildfire unearthed an important lead.
Finally, while battling a blaze in Arizona, firefighters discovered a backpack linked to the case of a missing man named David Alford.
Alford, who was 36 at the time, was last seen on a freeway nearly 700 miles away in Boise, Idaho, according to 12 News.
Firefighters found his backpack in a remote area along the north side of the Grand Canyon.
Firefighters were reportedly trying to contain the dragon fire at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which has now spread to more than 1,300 acres, Newsweek reports.
It was confirmed to belong to Alford when firefighters found his ID in the pocket along with personal belongings.
Alford went missing after his older sister, Analee Reseigh, dropped him off of Interstate 84 near the Broadway or Vista exit in Boise for a hitch ride to Arizona and possibly Mexico.
“He was a free spirit, he liked to travel, he traveled all over the world,” she said.
“So I dropped him off near the interstate because he was planning on hitchhiking south to Arizona and then I figured he was going to Mexico after that. He had a sign that said Arizona on one side and Utah on the other.”
Almost 8 years ago in August was the last time Reseigh saw or heard from her little brother.
The family began to worry a few months after Alford left for his trip as the holidays began to approach.
“He’s a spiritual person and I think he had planned to cut off communication, but we were all very surprised when we didn’t hear from him a few months later, especially around the holiday season,” Reseigh explained.
Aside from the discovery of the backpack just a few weeks ago, the investigation into Alford’s disappearance has yielded no significant leads.
However, Joelle Baird, a spokeswoman for Grand Canyon National Park, noted that the backpack was in an unusual area for tourists.
“While work was being carried out to prepare containment lines around this fire, one of the fire crews preparing the road spotted a backpack in an area where visitors don’t actually travel; it’s not a popular visitor area at all,” he explained.
The backpack had also been there for a very long time, reports 12 News.
Police launched a search to cover as much area as possible to find any clues as to what happened to Alford or where he might be located.
Alford is said to be 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs around 140 pounds and has blue eyes.
Reseigh also noted that at the time of his departure, Alford was of thin build and had a tattoo of the zodiac sign of Capricorn on his ankle.
He would now be 44 and anyone with information is asked to contact Boise State Police at 208-570-6000.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6028247/chilling-twist-in-search-for-missing-hiker-wildfire/ Terrifying twist in the search for a missing hiker who disappeared in 2014 after wildfire unearthed an important lead