National

Jun 17, 2014 12:43 AM by Associated Press

Mom still missing after hiking area searched

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A Las Vegas woman released photos Monday that she hopes will lead to information about her 35-year-old daughter, who has been missing since she went on a perilous hike to a Colorado River hot spring where her hiking partner was found dead.

Florence Frazier said she believes Christina Diane Montes accompanied 62-year-old James Edward Johnson Jr. on the challenging 3-mile hike on June 3 to Arizona Hot Spring in triple-digit temperatures.

Montes left her purse at Johnson's home in Henderson, Frazier said, and she may have been seen before the hike at a store in Boulder City.

Johnson's body was found June 5 near a tent and sleeping pad about 150 yards from the Colorado River, authorities said. His motor scooter was found in a U.S. 93 parking area.

Foul play is not suspected, Lake Mead National Recreation Area spokeswoman Christie Vanover said.

Frazier said her daughter, a single mother of daughters 13 and 11, is not an experienced hiker.

"She has not come out of that canyon," Frazier said. "She has not contacted anyone."

About 20 hikers from the National Park Service, Arizona Department of Public Safety and Mohave County Search and Rescue hiked Saturday from the parking lot to the river.

The search covered several possible hiking routes, including some areas where hikers can become disoriented in the unrelenting heat and rocky terrain on the shadeless eastern side of the river.

The Arizona Hot Spring canyon trek is the same one that claimed the life of a 69-year-old Boy Scout leader on June 8, 2013.

Clawson Bowman Jr. was with seven hikers between the ages of 10 and 17 and two other adults on a day when temperatures soared to 115 degrees.

Daytime temperatures on June 3-5 - when Montes first went missing - topped 100 degrees at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, said Todd Lericos, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Rangers discourage hiking to Arizona Hot Spring from June to September due to the heat and the strenuous uphill return hike in an area with no shade or potable water and limited cellphone service.

Authorities advise desert hikers to carry a gallon or two of water per person.

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