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Minneapolis-Area Firefighters Search For Missing Hikers

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Damian and Evan McManus (credit: CBS)

Damian and Evan McManus (credit: CBS)

DENVER (AP) — Four Minneapolis-area firefighters were searching Thursday for a father and son from Minnesota missing since planning to go for a hike in Colorado’s mountains in April.

The firefighters began looking for Damain McManus, 51, and Evan McManus, 18, both of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, on Tuesday near Mount Evans, about 35 miles southwest of Denver. They were set to wrap up their search Thursday but St. Louis Park, Minnesota, fire chief Steve Koering, who has been in contact with the firefighters, said they’re considering staying an extra day.

So far, he said the firefighters from St. Louis Park, Edina and Eden Prairie, Minnesota haven’t found any sign of the McManuses, who were on a father-son spring break trip when they disappeared.

More than 50 members of over a dozen Colorado search and rescue teams searched extensively for the men — on foot, on snowmobiles and from the air — after they were reported missing.

They were last heard from April 2 when one of them told a friend they were going to scale a peak. They were reported missing on April 6, when the search began.

Their car was found at the Echo Lake Campground near the base of the mountain but it’s not known which trail they took, said Bill Barwick, a spokesman for the Alpine Rescue Team. Heavy snow fell after they disappeared, erasing any footprints left before the storm, he said.

“We don’t know where they went,” Barwick said.

Searchers worked in up to 3 feet of snow and the threat of avalanches initially prevented searchers from going into some areas.

The initial search lasted for four days and crews later returned to the area for smaller searches. Before the Minnesota searchers arrived, searchers spent about 5,000 combined hours looking for the men, Barwick said.

Mount Evans is 14,250 feet high and has one of the highest paved roads in North America. The road closes at the end of summer, when weather conditions can quickly become treacherous.

By Colleen Slevin, AP Writer (© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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