Regular Searches Halted for Missing Glacier Hiker

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS – Glacier National Park officials said Tuesday that they would discontinue regular searches for a 27-year-old man who went missing during a planned 100-mile hike.

Park Superintendent Charles “Chas” Cartwright said in a news release that he was disappointed that he couldn’t explain what happened to Yi-Jien Hwa, a seminary student from Lexington, Ky.

“Reluctantly, after more than 2,500 hours of searching in difficult terrain and challenging conditions, the time has come to acknowledge that we are unlikely to solve this mystery without additional information,” Cartwright said.

Hwa was reported missing Aug. 18 when he didn’t contact his family as agreed on the last day of his hike. An extensive search turned up few clues about his whereabouts.

But incident commander Patrick Suddath said in the news release that the park hasn’t given up hope of finding Hwa.

“We simply had to make the decision that committing the resources at the level we have committed them over the past two weeks could not continue based on the information we had to go on,” he said.

Suddath said search efforts would resume if new information becomes available.

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