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Tucson hiker disappears from campsite in the middle of the night

Mary Sloan

9/9/15 – Family and authorities are searching for a missing Tucson woman that went on a camping trip over the Labor Day weekend.

Mary Brown Sloan, 53, was last seen on Sept. 3, by the group she was with that were hiking on Graham Mt.  Everyone went to bed around 8:30 p.m. and when they woke the next morning Sloan was not in her tent.  Her cell phone, purse and bag were still there.  

No one knows if Mary got up in the night to use the bathroom and then got lost or maybe got up early at sunrise before anyone else and went for a walk and fell somewhere and is in need of help.  

“Today we found a little more information, which is not any more fulfilling as far as bringing her home,” Sloan’s sister, Sherrie Brown Wood said. “But it does give the sisters a piece of mind.”  Wood also said she didn’t know too much about her sister’s planned trip other than she was going to Mount Graham.

“Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter crews were dispatched on Sept. 6.  Search and rescue personnel from Maricopa, Cochise and Pima counties were to continue the search along the mountains and cliffs on Sept. 8,” reports Tucson News Now.

Miyuki Harwood, 62, from Folsom went hiking in the Sierra National Forest on Aug. 20, 2015 and was found alive 9 days later.  She had broken her legs and had managed to crawl to a creek to get water.  The whistle she had with her helped a rescue team to find her.

Sloan’s family is hoping that Mary will also be found alive and learned what happened to her and why she wandered away from camp.

Anyone with information about Sloan’s whereabouts is urged to call the Graham County Sheriff’s Office at (928) 428-3141 or (928) 428-0808.

Posted by Sloan’s Family on Oct. 4:

Today marks 4 weeks since we seen or heard from Mary Sloan.
The search efforts have been called off. Please continue to pray for my family as we try to figure out what exactly this means for us and how to continue moving forward. Such heartbreaking times…
GRAHAM COUNTY — After looking for more than a week, the search for missing hiker Mary Lucille Brown Sloan, 53, of Pima County, has been suspended indefinitely pending new information or clues.
Graham County Search and Rescue Coordinator Lt. Jerry Nelson said rescue teams from multiple agencies combed the area the best they could but could not come up with any evidence of her whereabouts. Over the weekend, cadaver dogs from Maricopa County were utilized and one appeared to have a hit in the area near the cliff that was the original base of the search. Mountain repelling teams were called back in and one of the cadaver dogs was also repelled down the side of the cliff in an effort to locate Sloan.
“They went down 600 feet in two different areas and nothing,” Nelson said.
The cliff area is at about 9,400 feet, according to Nelson, and drops down through some catch areas to the base of the mountain at about 3,000 feet.
The base is relatively inaccessible and is not an area normally utilized by hikers, lessening the chance that Sloan would be eventually discovered.
“To get to the bottom of that cliff you would have to start probably start six or seven miles south of Pima and it’s ruff, rugged terrain and would take a couple days just to hike in there to get to the bottom of that canyon,” Nelson said. “There’s no way we can repel 6,000 or 7,000 feet.”
While the Graham County Sheriff’s Office investigators will continue their case on what happened to Sloan, the active search for her on the mountain has ended.
“We just don’t know where to go,” Nelson said. “You can’t search that whole mountain.”
Sloan was last seen by members of a hiking group she was with the evening of Sept. 3, when the group bedded down for the night at about 8:30 p.m.
According to Graham County Dispatch reports, it appeared Sloan did not sleep in her tent, and her cell phone, purse and bag were fond at the campsite, roughly a quarter-mile from Grandview Peak Road. The area is about two miles from Riggs Lake and sits right on a steep cliff.
Anyone with information about Sloan’s whereabouts is urged to call the Graham County Sheriff’s Office at (928) 428-3141 or (928) 428-0808.

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