Search continues for missing ASU professor

Posted at 8:57 PM, May 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-08 01:24:39-04

The search for an Arizona State University English professor roughly quadrupled in size as the effort to locate Debra Schwartz entered its second day.

Coconino County detectives are working with ASU police to gather any information about Schwartz or her disappearance. When reached on Saturday, a university spokesman said Arizona State officials were in contact with the sheriff's office and offered any assistance they could provide.

"Our hopes and prayers are that Dr. Schwartz is located and unharmed," the statement said. Schwartz has worked an an instructor in Arizona State's writing programs since 2011, according to a CV posted to her university faculty webpage.

Law enforcement was alerted to her disappearance by Pine Flats employees when Schwartz failed to check out of the campsite as scheduled. Investigators said it was Schwartz's plan to camp at Pine Flats from Tuesday through Thursday.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office says about 10 deputies and members of its search and rescue unit searched the two trails closest to the campsite, along Oak Creek for one mile both down and upstream and all around the campground, which is split in half by Highway 89A on Friday.

Saturday, 40 searchers from Coconino and Yavapai counties, along with eight search dogs, started looking for Schwartz just after dawn, according to a news release. A search and rescue helicopter from the Arizona Department of Public Safety based out of Kingman has also flown in support of search efforts.

Anyone with information about her disappearance or location is asked to contact the Coconino County Sheriff's Office at 1-800-338-7888.