Family desperately trying to locate 74-year-old Mesa man who disappeared on Utah hike

Posted at 9:05 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-05 13:34:08-04

Authorities are searching for a missing Mesa man in Utah.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office first took to Twitter on Tuesday saying a search and rescue operation is underway in the Wasatch Cache National Forest to locate missing 74-year-old Melvin G. Heaps.

The following day, Heaps' family released the following statement along with the hashtag #HopeForHeaps:

Our family appreciates all the support we have received from the Search & Rescue units, and the concern and interest of friends and family. We continue to be hopeful because we know Mel and his love of the outdoors. We respectfully ask for privacy at this time

On Thursday, the Summit County sheriff reported that they’re continuing their search for the man who was last seen in the Crystal Lake area, about 30 miles east of Kamas.

Heaps disappeared on July 31 while on a hike, authorities said. His car was located in the Crystal Lake Trailhead parking lot.

Heaps was expected to return home that night but never did, officials said.

His family told ABC4 Utah that he is deaf in one ear and wears a hearing aid in the other. They believe the battery may have died which would make hearing rescue crews impossible.

As of Saturday morning, 150 volunteers showed up to search for Heaps.

He’s described as being 5’9”, 175 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a red long sleeve shirt, and blue jeans with suspenders.

Anyone who may have seen Heaps is urged to call the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.