Family Friend: Missing Hiker 'Now Walks With God'

Edwards (AP) A family friend says a missing hiker, "now walks with God," after disappearing more than a week ago in the Holy Cross wilderness of Eagle County. Authorities called off the search for 35–year–old Michelle Vanek of Lakewood over the weekend, after an extensive effort involving at least 200 searchers failed to turn up any sign of her.

Vanek was last seen September 24th as she stopped to rest, while her hiking partner continued up the mountain. Search leader Tim Cochrane calls it a "true mystery," saying, by now, crews normally would have found clues indicating a direction of travel, or where someone might've taken shelter.

Friend and spokesman Bob Davis says the family is positive that Michelle's spirit remains in the Vail Valley.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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