Searches underway for 3 Mount Rainier hikers missing in separate incidents

Search-and-rescue missions are underway for three hikers who have gone missing on Mount Rainier in Washington state last week in separate incidents.

The National Park Service said rangers do not want the public’s help in the searches due to dangerous late spring conditions, which includes unstable snow bridges over creeks. Dozens of professional rescuers have already scoured the hazardous terrain from the ground and in the air.

The first hiker who went missing is Vincent Djie, a 25-year-old Indonesian student living in Seattle.

Djie was last seen on June 19 hiking the Van Trump Trail toward Mildred Point. He failed to return home that day and was reported missing.

A search began on June 22, and his vehicle was found inside the park. He was last seen wearing black pants, and a blue and white tie-dye shirt; he carried a small drawstring-type bag.

The second hiker is Talal Sabbagh, a 27-year-old from Seattle, who was reported missing on June 22 in Paradise. Rangers found his vehicle in a parking lot in the area. He was last seen wearing a light blue shirt under a black jacket, black shorts, and dark Nike shoes.

Press releases regarding the searches for Djie and Sabbagh are suspended until officials have “significant information” to share, the park service said.

A third man, Matthew Bunker of Seattle, was reported missing Friday after his partner last saw him skiing near Thumb Rock at about 10,400 feet elevation. It was believed Bunker had fallen in the steep terrain during his descent from the mountain, the park service said.

A helicopter surveyed the area following the report, but severe down-slope winds prevented the crew from getting close to the ridge. A second flight in the evening encountered the same hazards and was unable to locate Bunker.

Bunker went missing in the area above where six climbers died in 2014 at Liberty Ridge, which is known for its steep cliffs, frequent avalanches and active rockfall, authorities said.

Aerial searches for Bunker are expected to continue this week, while rescuers will search for Djie and Sabbagh from both the ground and in the air.

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