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Recent TRSAR Missions -  Superstition Wilderness Search - Kelley Tate - 9/13/09

Squad members involved in the search were Commander Bill Pitterle, Don Mahr, Ken Messinger, Jim Dever and Kyle Man.

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Photos By Ken Messinger

Sept. 12, 2009 01:21 PM
APACHE JUNCTION - Crews on horseback and rescue dogs have joined the search for a hiker who went missing at Lost Dutchman State Park on Thursday.

Pinal County Sheriff's Office officials say they are looking for 53-year-old Kelley Tate, who went hiking in the park near Apache Junction on Thursday morning.

He was due back in the afternoon, but the experienced hiker failed to return.
His motorcycle was found in the parking lot.

Kelley Tate's Body Found

Tuesday, 15 Sep 2009, 9:08 PM

CASA GRANDE - The Pinal County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that a body was found in the Superstition Mountains Tuesday night, and they believe it is missing hiker Kelley Tate. PCSO says the body was found about 6 p.m. Tuesday. Homicide detectives are gathering evidence and the body is being sent to the medical examiner's office for identification. A source close to the investigation is saying the body was found close to where Tate first entered the park. So far, it doesn't look like foul play was a factor.

The 53-year-old left Thursday morning to go hiking in the Superstition Mountains. Volunteers and rescue crews had been working around the clock since Thursday night totry to find the missing man. Tate was hiking rugged terrain. Some of the crevasses on the mountain are up to 2,000 feet deep.


Lifting off from the Command Post Landing zone was Ken Messinger and Bill Pitterle with Sgt Hudgens and two other squad members in the back ground.
This is a picture of the on board computer that lets us see our position as we are flying and you can see Fox 1 up above the screen. It's pretty nice having a helo dedicated to SAR like Maricopa county has.


Looking towards the Southeast and the frontside of the SUPERSTITIONS as we leave the command post LZ

From behind the helo tech, who had briefed us on helo procedures before we left.

Looking past Bill out towards the foot of the Superstitions, a very spectacular ride.


The pilot flew us in over the trail we would be walking out.
Weavers needle from the Wilderness Landing zone.
Seeing your ride leave. You just didn't want that ride to end. But we were there for a search so it begins.
Second load into the wilderness landing zone with Don Mahr in the door of the helo
After landing Don Mahr and Jim Dever the helo had to return to Falcon Field for fuel so we were stuck for about a hour waiting on our last squad member. The only shade we had in 100 degree plus temps.
Picture of the last drop off with Kyle Mann in the door of the helo. BTW this was Kyles first mission with us. Hope he doesn't think this is how we get to search areas.
The search begins
This picture is real close to the trailhead. A CAP relay was set up at the trailhead and he had cold water and a ride back to the command post.


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