Updated: Dec 27, 2013
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (CBS5) -- Yavapai County deputies said they have exhausted all leads in their efforts to find a 22-year-old hiker missing in the mountains near Sedona.
Authorities said Thomas Lang, who has been missing for more than a week, went into the woods for a planned five-day hike without a cell phone or food because he was fasting.
Thomas Lang's family told the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office he was fasting, but it's unclear if he began the fasting regimen on Dec. 18 or before. He had plenty of water and is an experienced outdoorsman, his family said. He was supposed to return to the campground Sunday night, but when his family went to pick him up, he never showed.
According to the Sheriff's office, Lang wanted to spend some time alone and went on the hike by himself without a cell phone.
The search effort was put on hold late on Thursday after crews from the search had not been able to find Lang. Temperatures have dipped into the 20s in recent nights.
"We're concerned about the potential that he may have fallen victim to some type of accident or exposure. We've obviously had extremely cold temperatures. The night time lows have been down around the 20s and then we had the storm that came in.. snow storm [Dec. 19] and [Dec. 20] and substantial amount of snow and moisture," said CCSO's Rex Gilliland.
YCSO said 60 people, a canine team and the department's rescue helicopter covered a 30-square-mile search area on Thursday, along with rescue teams from the Maricopa and Coconino County sheriff's offices. About five miles of the search area consist of vertical canyons and extremely thick brush, said Dwight D'Evelyn of the YCSO.
Lang was last seen at the Manzanita Campground in Oak Creek Canyon outside Sedona about 11 a.m. on Dec. 18. He was scheduled to return to the campground on Sunday. Authorities said Lang's destination was along the Sterling Pass area of Oak Creek Canyon.
Lang is described as white, 6'1" tall, weighing 140 pounds with hazel eyes and blond dreadlocks. He was wearing blue jeans, a dark blue sweatshirt and was carrying a red sleeping bag, white tarp, guitar and blue backpack.
D'Evelyn said the Coconino and Yavapai County sheriff's offices have received several calls indicating sightings of Lang in convenience stores or supermarkets in areas of both counties, but none panned out and officials don't believe Lang had left the search area.