Day four of search for missing hiker begins

In Nome, the search for Joseph Balderas is starting its fourth day. Other than his abandoned car near mile 44 on the Nome-Council Highway, there has been no sign of him.

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According to Alaska State Troopers, three dog teams found some indication Wednesday, but the scent was quickly lost.

The search has been tiring for the members of Nome’s Search and Rescue team. Erica Wieler has spent the majority of the search in a spotter helicopter looking for any clues to Balderas’ whereabouts. She says she is doing her best to stay positive.

“Everytime we have refueled or landed and gotten back up in the air I’ve had hope that we’d come up with something and that restarts everyday,” Wieler said. “I wake up and I have hope that we will be finding him.”

Each day that passes wears on the hope of rescuers that this search will end well, but this has not diminished the dedication of Nome’s Search and Rescue team. Last night [WED], after a long day, Whieler prepared to go home and get some rest.

“Well it is 11, after 11,” Wieler said. “I am going to go home , its my little brothers 10th birthday right now so… Go wish him another happy birthday and go to bed because we have to be up bright and early tomorrow. “

Volunteers with Nome Search and Rescue plan to continue their search for 36-year-old Balderas until he is found or officials make the decision to call off the search.

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