Crews search for missing backpacker in East County

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SAN DIEGO  – Search-and-rescue crews were searching Wednesday for a hiker who disappeared while backpacking  in a remote wilderness area in East County .

Chris Sylvia. 28, was reported missing Tuesday after failing to meet a friend in Campo as the two had planned. Other hikers later found what they believed to be Sylvia’s identification and backpacking gear about 12 miles off state Route 79 north of Warner Springs.

Sylvia started his hike in Anza Borrego on Feb. 12 and was supposed to meet up with his friend in Lost Valley to replenish his supplies five days later. Sylvia’s friend assumed the missing man simply continued on his way without stopping. But the friend grew worried when he never heard from Sylvia and finally reported him missing on Tuesday, two weeks after he began the hike.

Sylvia is described as a 5-foot-8-inches tall, 155-pound white man with brown hair and hazel eyes. Anyone with information is asked to contact the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department at 858-565-5200.