Crime - Sacto 911

Crews beef up Donner Summit search for missing Rocklin hiker, dog

Cody Michael poses with his dog in a photo sent to his family Monday
Cody Michael poses with his dog in a photo sent to his family Monday Courtesy: Placer County Sheriff’s Office

Rescue teams headed out again Wednesday morning in the Donner Summit area in search of a Rocklin hiker and his dog who have gone missing since Monday morning. Today’s search will be aided by a National Guard blackhawk helicopter.

Cody Michael, 23, texted a picture to his family Monday morning on the second day of his backpacking trip. He is shown kneeling atop a granite boulder, smiling as he poses with this German shepherd.

Michael is wearing a backpack and the dog is clad in protective dog booties and a dog pack. His text said he would be leaving the area by noon, but his family hasn’t heard from him since. His vehicle was found at the trailhead.

Placer County Sheriff spokeswoman Dena Erwin said 30 searchers headed out at 7 a.m. Wednesday. A National Guard helicopter was taking searchers into the high country where the search is centered. The area has snow in the higher reaches, at about 7,000 feet.

“It’s a four-hour hike to get back to where they plan to search,” Erwin said. “The helicopter can shuttle ground searchers to the area.”

Officials posted a deputy overnight at Michael’s car in case he returned, but he did not.

“We’re hoping for the best,” Erwin said.

Michael is described as 5 feet, 10 inches tall and 175 pounds. He has brown hair and green eyes.

Fifteen searchers participated in Tuesday’s search. A helicopter was in place, but could not be used that day because of high winds. Sheriff’s officials said they cannot use volunteers, as only people who have gone through rigorous training are allowed on a search.

They ask people not involved in the search to stay off trails in the area so as not interfere with search operations.

Anyone who was hiking in the Loch Leven area, near Hampshire Rocks Road, either Sunday or Monday and saw Michael is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 530-886-5375.

A Facebook photo of Michael and his dog, posted by the Placer County Sheriff, has gotten more than 200,000 hits by Wednesday morning.

Tony Bizjak: 916-321-1059, @TonyBizjak