SANTA FE (CBSDFW.COM) — Search crews are still combing the Sangre de Cristo Mountains for a 75-year-old Dallas woman who has been missing since Wednesday morning while hiking near the Santa Fe ski basin.
Audrey Richman Kaplan was hunting for mushrooms along the Winsor Trail when she separated from her husband and ventured farther into the Santa Fe National Forest.
Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez of New Mexico State Police said about 80 people were searching for the woman on Saturday.
He said a State Police helicopter, used in the search Thursday, was unable to fly Friday due to low cloud cover.
Search and scent dogs were being utilized in the search, which also involved volunteers, State Police, the Sandoval and Santa Fe county sheriff’s offices, the Santa Fe National Forest and search and rescue crews from Santa Fe, Taos, San Miguel County, and others.
Gutierrez said Kaplan separated from her husband about 10:15 a.m. Wednesday when he stopped to rest and she continued on in search of mushrooms. When she didn’t return by about noon, he set out to look for her. After several hours of searching, he contacted authorities late that afternoon and a search effort commenced.
Judy Allison, a friend of Kaplan’s, said Kaplan was an avid mushroom hunter who was “self-sufficient in her own way.”
“Audrey is a very experienced hiker. It’s what she loves to do,” Allison said.
Bob Rodgers, a search and rescue resource officer, said that Kaplan left behind distinctive tracks with the pattern on her hiking boots and use of trekking poles.
But those tracks may be less evident after rain fell in the area Thursday and Friday nights and more was forecasted Saturday night.
Gutierrez said temperatures dropped to between 40 to 50 degrees overnight near the ski basin, which is at an elevation of about 10,000 feet.
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