JANUARY 6, 1997
Search halted for missing hikers
INDEX--The search for three missing hikers near Lake Serene shifted from the ground to the air after flooding and melting snow began to endanger search-and-rescue crews, with one volunteer falling into a creek when an ice bridge collapsed.
Tim Skadan, 31, of Bothell, Scott Bennett, 28, of Gold Bar, and Fred Petri, Jr., 31, of Snohomish, began their hike Dec. 27 and were expected to return Dec. 29. They were reported missing Dec. 30 by relatives.
An aerial search for the hikers was hampered by heavy rains, and bloodhounds were unable to pick up a scent. On Jan. 1, searchers became heartened at the possibility of locating the three when they discovered two abandoned mines, though no sign of the hikers was found.
Skadan is a 1983 graduate of Bothell High School and a Boeing employee. A divorced father of two, Skadan climbed Mount Rainier last year.
With the extreme weather conditions and length of time the three have been missing, the hope that the men will be found alive is diminishing, though relatives continue to remain positive.