Search for Missing Hiker in Sedona Suspended

December 29,2013


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 and have suspended the active search.


Search for Missing Hiker in Sedona Continues

The search for Lang continued at daybreak today and involves approximately 60 ground personnel, a dog team, and air support from YCSO’s Recue 1 helicopter. Additionally, technical rescue teams from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Coconino County Sheriff’s Office have been deployed to check steep terrain portions of the target search area. Technical teams carry special equipment and have the expertise to address steep and rough terrain topography thoroughly and safely. Of the approximately30 square mile search area, about 5 square miles consists of vertical canyons and extremely thick brush necessitating the use of these special teams.

Along with the search effort in Oak Creek Canyon, the Coconino and Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office have received several calls indicating sightings of Lang in convenience stores or supermarkets in areas of Yavapai/Coconino counties. Each of these leads is being checked which includes reviewing store security tape when available to try and verify the information. So far, there is no indication Lang left the general vicinity of the search area. 

On Christmas day, over 30 searchers were deployed along with a dog team throughout the day and Lang could not be found.

Both Sheriff’s agencies are still encouraging calls regarding any information on Lang and/or his whereabouts. Persons who travelled in this area of Sedona after December 18th and who might have seen Lang along roadsides in the vicinity are urged to call. Any new information that helps to establish a location timeline is very important to search effort planning. Agency contact numbers - Coconino Sheriff – 1-800-338-7888 / Yavapai Sheriff – 928-771-3260.

Significant developments will be updated immediately. Otherwise, I expect to have another media release out late this afternoon with an overview of today’s progress and future direction of the search effort.

Please see attached flyer for a photo of Lang and details on his description and items he reportedly took with him.

December 24, 2013

Search for Missing Hiker in Sedona Continues 

The search effort for 22-year-old Thomas Lang continues in earnest this morning around the Oak Creek Canyon area of Coconino County. Early yesterday, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies and search teams joined Coconino County Sheriff’s personnel in the search for Lang. This included air search support from DPS Ranger and YCSO’s Rescue 1 Helicopter.

Today, there are currently 66 searchers along with air support from YCSO’s Rescue 1. Additionally, at least 1 dog team from Coconino Sheriff’s Search and Rescue is out tracking.Both agencies have been receiving calls regarding sightings of Lang in and around the target search area. So far none of the information has led to Lang.

As previously indicated, Lang was dropped off at the Manzanita Campground by his father around 11 AM on Wednesday, September 18, 2013. He was expected to return mid-morning on Sunday, December 22, 2013, and when he failed to show, his family contacted the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. Lang is not carrying a cell phone and has no known medical issues. According to family members, he did not take any food but did have a supply of water. Lang has hiked this area before and has some outdoor survival experience. His destination was along the Sterling Pass area of Oak Creek Canyon.

Please see the attached flyer for Lang’s photo and clothing description. Anyone with information regarding Lang’s whereabouts is asked to call either the Coconino or Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office or

911. Coconino Sheriff – 1-800-338-7888 / Yavapai Sheriff – 928-771-3260.