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US Marine Lieutenant missing after avalanche in California

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Matthew Kraft (Facebook)

A missing US Marine Lieutenant may have been lost in an avalanche, according to Search And Rescue teams currently attempting to locate him in the central California mountains.

Inyo County is one of several agencies handling the search of 1st Lt. Matthew Kraft, but the Sheriff’s Office has a unique lead- his vehicle turned up in their jurisdiction.

Kraft was reportedly on a 10-day ski-hike along the Kearsarge Pass trail, making a considerable trek through the snowy California mountains. The trip began on February 24, and was scheduled to end on March 4 or March 5.

According to ABC News, Kraft’s father notified Mono County Sheriff’s Office officials after his son never reported in.

“One of our Marines, 1st Lt. Matthew Kraft, has been reported missing to local law enforcement after missing his return date from a recreational skiing and hiking trip on the Sierra High Route,” the 1st Marine Division wrote on their Facebook page.

At around 8,000 feet, rescuers found “recent avalanche debris” and evidence that several avalanches had taken place. After reporting the information, it was determined that the searched would be primarily-air based over the weekend.

In addition to the Inyo and Mono County Sheriff’s Offices, the California Highway Patrol, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Madera County Sheriff’s Office, the Marines Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center are all assisting in the search, with the Fresno County Sheriff and the Air National Guard providing aerial support.

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