Navy lieutenant missing after ski holiday in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains


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By Yuliya Talmazan and Matthew Devine

Several agencies searched Saturday for a sixth day for a missing sailor during a ski trip to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California.

The Mono County Sheriff's Office said Lieutenant Matthew Kraft of the Marine Corps was missing after not coming on her scheduled return date.

Officials said Kraft's route had taken the Sierra High Route, a 200-mile-long trekking route through Sierra Nevada.

He allegedly departed Kearsarge Pass on February 24 and was scheduled to hike near the Twin Lakes area by Bridgeport on March 4 or 5.

On March 4, Kraft's father contacted the police without hearing his son.

Lt. Matthew Kraft was reportedly missing by local law enforcement during a cross – country skiing trip on the Sierra High Route.Monroe County Sheriff's Department

Mono County MPs began looking for Kraft in the Bridgeport area on Monday and researchers from the Inyo County Sheriff's Office joined the effort the next day. Pings from Kraft's latest mobile phone activity showed that he was in the Inyo County Independence Zone.

Several agencies are currently involved in marine research, including the Marine Corps, California Highway Patrol and Yosemite National Park.

An ongoing research effort led rescuers to the Kearsarge Pass area on Saturday after the researchers found the Kraft rental vehicle on Friday night.

The Inyo County Sheriff's Office said winter storms in the Sierra had made research activities extremely difficult. However, ground crews and aerial searches will continue to be used by the weather.

On Saturday, rescuers deployed a snowmobile to pull the ropes over the Search and Rescue crew to the Onion Valley parking area above Independence, where the rescuers will release as many areas as possible.

Officials said the search and rescue teams would work as long as the weather would allow, but another storm was expected throughout the weekend.

Kraft's marine division posted an article on Facebook on Saturday to update Kraft's followers.

"The vast majority who expressed concern for the welfare of 1st Lieutenant Kraft: thank you for your wishes," he said.

Yuliya Talmazan was reported in London and Matthew Devine in New York.

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