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Nordic skiers and National Guard helicopter search for missing hiker in Tahoe National Forest

A search-and-rescue operation near Donner Summit found missing hiker Cody Michael and his dog on May 19.
(Placer County Sheriff’s Office)

A National Guard helicopter and Nordic skiers are searching for a hiker and his dog who disappeared near Donner Summit after he texted a photo to his family saying he would return Monday.

Searchers were looking for Cody Michael, 23, of Rocklin, Calif., and his German shepherd dog after the pair were last seen hiking on Sunday or Monday in the Loch Leven Lakes Trail area in Tahoe National Forest, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’re energized and have high hopes that we’ll find Cody and his dog today,” the sheriff’s office said Wednesday on Facebook.

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On Monday, Michael texted a photo of himself and his dog to his family and told them he planned to leave the area by noon. But Michael and his dog never returned home and he hasn’t been heard from since.

His vehicle was found at the trail head, sheriff’s officials said.

Aided by search dogs and a snowmobile team, rescue teams looked for Michael and his dog along the snow-laden trail on Tuesday. High winds prevented an aerial search.

More than 30 volunteers returned to the area Wednesday to continue their search. The National Guard helicopter shuttled searchers to higher elevations of about 6,800 feet. Members of the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue team and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office were assisting.

Search dogs have begun sniffing items in Michael’s car and will follow the scents along the trail.

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The rocky, moderately steep trail extends from South Yuba River canyon to a series of lakes.

Michael is 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs 175 pounds and has brown hair and green eyes. He was carrying a backpack and his German shepherd was wearing dog boots.

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Anyone with details about Michael’s whereabouts is urged to call the sheriff’s office at (530) 886-5375.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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