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UPDATE AUG. 26: Search for missing man continues

August 26, 2013

Matthew Greene, missing from the Mammoth area since July 16.

The search for a man last seen in Mammoth Lakes July 16 continued Monday, Aug. 26 after a pair of glasses found by a Mammoth Lakes hiker Friday, Aug. 23, near the Inyo Craters trailhead north of Mammoth, could not be positively identified as Matthew Greene's glasses.

Greene, 39, an experienced hiker and climber and a teacher from Pennsylvania,  was last seen in Mammoth after dropping off his car for repairs at a repair shop and left no note or indication of where he had gone.

"I just got the resutls of the inspection of the glasses found on Friday at the trailhead to Inyo Craters," said Mammoth Lakes Police Chief Dan Watson Monday, Aug. 26. "The glasses are store-bought 'cheaters' and not prescription lenses similar to Matt's prescription. So the glasses appear to be a dead end."

The search for Greene has garnered national media attention and those searching for Greene had hoped the glasses, which looked similar to ones that Greene wore in at least one photo, might be the clue that narrowed the impossibly large search area to something manageable.

But on Aug. 16, Greene’s phone was either turned off or it ran out of power, according to Mammoth Lakes Police Detective Doug Hornbeck. That was the last anyone has heard or seen of Greene, since.

“We have a record of the last call made at 4:33 p.m. on July 16, and that was the last call he made,” he said Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Hornbeck said the police department has conducted numerous interviews and followed up on every tip it received regarding Greene’s disappearance.

He also said the police have gone through Green’s maps, trail guides, equipment, and gear from his car, hoping to find a clue as to where Greene might have gone.

Due to the lack of leads as to where Green might have gone, a formal Mono County search and rescue effort has not been launched, he said.

“My hands are tied right now,” he said. “We don’t have any more leads.”

However, some members of the volunteer search and rescue team have been looking for Greene based on the few tips that might indicate his whereabouts, said Jennifer Hanson, Mono County sheriff’s public information officer.

“The Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team has sent ground teams to search around the Mt. Ritter/Banner Peak area,” she said in a news release on Aug. 6.

“As a training mission, a CHP helicopter, along with the assistance of Mono County SAR, did a brief search of the area, including the Minarets. Due to the potential climbing destinations of Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak being outside of Mono County (the two peaks are located in Madera County although they are most often accessed from Reds Meadow in Mono County), the Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team has not been officially activated.”

However, she said, the SAR team, “to actively aid the family and friends of Greene in their search efforts,” has utilized training opportunities to try and locate him.

“The SAR team has verified that no summit register entries have been entered by Greene at either peak. The SAR team is currently analyzing forest service permits and emailing permit holders to try and gather additional information regarding [his] location,” she said.

Hornbeck also said the police have also been in touch with Yosemite National Park officials, in case Greene had headed to the park.

“We have been in contact with our (Mono County) search and rescue and we talked to the Yosemite rangers. They had someone check the summit post for Mt. Lyell, in case he climbed Lyell, but there was no indication he was there,” Hornbeck said.

Greene arrived in Mammoth Lakes on or near June 27 to hike and camp in the Eastern Sierra, according to a Mammoth Lakes police report released late last week.

“According to his family and friends, Greene is an avid hiker, rock and ice climber,” the report stated.

“He was camping at Shady Rest Campground while his vehicle was being repaired at a local shop.

“Greene is 5’11,” about 155 pounds, with brownish-blonde short hair and blue eyes. It is believed that he may have gotten a ride from someone to a remote area to hike or climb,” the report said.

Those with any information on Greene’s whereabouts or other tips for this investigation are encouraged to call Detective Hornbeck at the Mammoth Lakes Police Department at 760-934-2011, or the Mono County Sheriff’s Office at 760-932-7549 ext. 7.

Greene’s friends and family also launched a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/findmattgreene where the latest information on the search for Greene is updated regularly.

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