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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news August 28, 2014


12/26/2013 1:12:00 PM
UPDATE: Search suspended in Oak Creek Canyon for missing Thomas Lang
Todd Lang
Todd Lang

SEDONA-- The search for young Thomas Lang appears to be over, for now at least. Sheriffs of both Coconino and Yavapai County have announced they are suspending the search for 22-year-old Lang until new information is available.

All leads have been exhausted and no additional clues were discovered during the intense area search.

The family was briefed late Thursday regarding this decision. Spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said the effort will continue to follow any leads that come into either agency.

Lang's parents have remained on site throughout the day to see the efforts of search personnel first hand. Yavapai and Coconino Sheriff's personnel appreciate their cooperation and participation in this effort along with other family members and friends.

The search effort was massive, totaling 66 search personnel from Yavapai and Coconino counties, as well as a dog team and at times, two helicopters, the DPS Ranger and Yavapai Rescue-1. The search continued through the Christmas holiday.

On Wednesday Dec. 18, Lang was dropped about 11 a.m. at the Manzanita Campground in Oak Creek Canyon but failed to meet his father there Sunday mid-morning, Dec. 22 when it was agreed he would be picked up.

Thomas was last seen wearing blue jeans, a dark blue sweat shirt and carrying a red sleeping bag, a white tarp, a guitar and a blue backpack. He has blond dreadlocks hair and hazel eyes, is 6'1" tall and weighs 140 pounds.

Lang did not carry a cell phone and has no known medical issues.

According to family members, he did not take any food but did have a supply of water. Reports say he was 'fasting' and did not take food with him. Lang has hiked this area before and has some outdoor survival experience. His destination was along the Sterling Pass area of Oak Creek Canyon.

There were numerous reports of Lang sightings by the public, but those reports proved unfounded. YCSO continues to encourage phone calls related to Lang and/or his whereabouts.

Reportedly, he had plenty of water.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Coconino County Sheriff's Office 1-800-338-7888 or Yavapai County Sheriff's Office at (928)771-3260.

Earlier Story

SEDONA -- The search for Thomas Lang continued at daybreak Thursday and now involves approximately 60 ground personnel, a dog team, and air support from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Rescue 1 helicopter.

Technical rescue teams from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and Coconino County Sheriff's Office have been deployed to check steep terrain portions of the target search area. Technical teams carry special equipment and have the expertise to address steep and rough terrain topography thoroughly and safely. Of the approximately 30 square mile search area, about 5 square miles consists of vertical canyons and extremely thick brush necessitating the use of these special teams.

Along with the search effort in Oak Creek Canyon, the Coconino and Yavapai County Sheriff's Office have received several calls indicating sightings of Lang in convenience stores or supermarkets in areas of Yavapai/Coconino counties. Each of these leads is being checked which includes reviewing store security tape when available to try and verify the information. So far, there is no indication Lang left the general vicinity of the search area.

On Christmas day, over 30 searchers were used along with a dog team throughout the day and Lang could not be found.

Both sheriff's agencies are still encouraging calls regarding any information on Lang or his possible whereabouts. Persons who traveled in this area of Sedona after Wednesday, Dec. 18, and who might have seen Lang along roadsides in the vicinity are urged to call. Any new information that helps to establish a location timeline is very important to search effort planning. Agency contact numbers - Coconino Sheriff - 1-800-338-7888 / Yavapai Sheriff - 928-771-3260.

Lang is not carrying a cell phone and has no known medical issues. According to family members, he did not take any food but did have a supply of water. Lang has hiked this area before and has some outdoor survival experience. His destination was along the Sterling Pass area of Oak Creek Canyon.

Lang is a 22-year old white male with blond dreadlocks, hazel eyes, standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 140 pounds. Anyone with information regarding Lang's whereabouts is asked to call either the Coconino or Yavapai County Sheriff's Office or 911. Coconino Sheriff - 1-800-338-7888 / Yavapai Sheriff - 928-771-3260.

Taylor Waste

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