Missing hiker Thomas Lang update: Search for missing 22-year-old hiker suspended

SEDONA, AZ - Authorities have suspended the search for a 22-year-old hiker who has been missing for more than a week after he did not return from a planned 5-day trip through the mountains of Arizona.

Dwight D'Evelyn, media relations coordinator for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, said "all leads have been exhausted and no additional clues" have been found in the search for Thomas Lang, who was last seen Dec. 18.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office has also suspended their search.

D-Evelyn said that authorities will continue to follow an additional leads that come into either agency.

Lang was last seen Dec. 18 at the Manzanita Campground in Oak Creek Canyon north of Sedona.

He was dropped off by his father, who expected to pick his son up on Dec. 22. When Lang failed to show up, his family called authorities.

While Lang carried water and a sleeping bag, he set out on the trip without food because he was fasting, said D'Evelyn

"To what extent and why, we don't know," D'Evelyn said. "But he did not take food with him. That's been made very clear."

Family told authorities that Lang is an experienced outdoorsman with extensive wilderness skills.

D'Evelyn said that given Lang's outdoor experience, searchers had hoped he might light a fire to signal his location.

"That's not been the case. We have not seen any fires," D'Evelyn said. "And he's got a four or five day head start on us, so it's very frustrating, but we're still holding out hope.

"The only other possibility is that if he somehow left, either hitchhiked or walked out, than he could be safe and sound somewhere," he added.

Authorities have received reports from people who claim to have seen Lang in convenience stores in the area and are checking surveillance footage, but they have yet to come up with any leads.

Lang is described as a 6-foot-1 male, weighing about 140 pounds with long blond hair and dreadlocks.

He was last seen in the campground carrying his sleeping bag, a guitar and backpack.

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