Hiker goes missing after separating from group in East County

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Thomas Mark Castiglia went missing on a hike at El Cajon Mountain

EL CAJON, Calif. — Officials are searching for a hiker who separated from his group on El Cajon Mountain and never returned Saturday.

Thomas Mark Castiglia, 50, met up with a hiking group around 8:30 a.m. in El Cajon, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a missing person’s release. Castiglia and the group hiked up the mountain’s south route toward Lunch Rock.

Around 10:30 a.m., members of the group say Castiglia told several other hikers that he would be taking a slower pace and that others did not need to wait for him. But as of Saturday evening, he had never returned.

Officials said Castiglia is an experience hiker with no known medical conditions. He is about 5-feet, 6-inches tall and weighs roughly 165 pounds. Castiglia is bald with hazel eyes and was last seen wearing a black sweater, black shorts and a green hat. For Saturday’s hike, he brought a green backpack and blue hiking poles.

Anyone with information about his location was asked to contact the San Diego Sheriff’s Department at 858-565-5200.

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