A skier missing in the Sierra Nevada mountains for almost a week has been presumed dead Thursday after exhaustive search efforts were suspended.
Rory Angelotta, 43, was last seen on Christmas Day at the Northstar Ski Resort near Lake Tahoe, California. A group of 220 people from 17 different agencies searched for the lost skier for a combined 13,000 hours over six days, the Placer County Sheriff said in a statement.
“This was a difficult decision, especially for the volunteers who have worked so hard to bring Rory home,” the sheriff said in a statement. “Unfortunately, it was a decision that had to be made. Our hearts go out to the family.”
Seven feet of snow fell between Christmas and Thursday in the area where Angelotta disappeared, creating treacherous search conditions with high winds, temperatures far below freezing and whiteouts, the sheriff’s office said. Searchers set out on nordic skies, snowshoes, snowmobiles, a Blackhawk helicopter, and even used advanced aerial borne radar technology to try to find Angelotta.
Angelotta, originally from Ohio, was a ski shop manager from Truckee, California, who was reported missing after he missed his Christmas dinner.
His sister, Kelsey Angelotta, told local media that he had just moved to the region, and was unfamiliar with the backside of the mountain he was believed to be skiing before his disappearance.