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Kern River Canyon hiker still missing, search suspended

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Posted at 8:42 AM, Feb 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-07 17:01:22-05

UPDATE (Feb. 7, 2017, 1:49 p.m.): The Kern County Sheriff's Office has still suspended their search for missing hiker Steve Garcia.

The area and terrain where they need to search is very steep and rocky.

Unfortunately they do not have any new information regarding Garcia. KCSO is holding out hope that he received a ride out of the area by a passerby, or that someone is aware of his whereabouts and will give that information to KCSO to verify that he is safe.

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UPDATE (February 6, 2017 7 p.m.): The search was temporarily suspended due to weather. The rain erased most of the tracks and other clues officials were hoping to find.

The area is steep and rocky, and the dirt is loose making it unsafe to continue the search until weather breaks.

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UPDATE (February 5, 2017 9 p.m.): Volunteers from the Sheriff's Search and Rescue Group are beginning their second night of searching for missing hiker Steve Garcia, with rain expected tonight.

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KCSO says it is still possible that Garcia made it to Highway 178 or Breckenridge Road and could have been picked up by a passing motorist.

ORIGINAL: Search and rescue crews are looking for a man who was last seen hiking in the Kern River Canyon. 

Officials said Saturday deputies were flagged down by a person saying an acquaintance had gotten separated from him during a hike in the Kern River Canyon.

Volunteers from the Kern County Sheriff's Office Kern Valley Search and Rescue Unit began a search for the subject, which continued throughout the night. 

At this time the searchers have been unable to locate the missing hiker. 

Additional volunteers from the Sheriff's Office China Lake Mountain Search and Rescue, and Desert Search and Rescue groups will continue the search throughout the day. 

It is possible the subject made his way back to the roadway and received a ride out of the area from a passing motorist. 

The missing hiker is Steve Garcia. He is described as in his 50s, 5'8" tall, 160 pounds, medium build, with long black hair in a pony tail. He was last seen wearing a black leather jacket and unknown colored pants. 

The Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who may have given the subject a ride, or who knows his current whereabouts to call with that information.