Search continues for missing hiker in White Mountains

Crews in the White Mountains on Monday were looking for an experienced hiker who disappeared days ago.

Greg Auriemma, 63, of New Jersey, was well prepared for his journey, officials said. He was due back home on July 7, but his family alerted officials when he never showed up.

Authorities said Auriemma was last seen in North Conway, and they determined that he stayed in the area of Mispah Spring Hut in Bean’s Grant on or around June 28.

Searchers found his campsite Saturday near the Dry River Trail in Cutt’s Grant, where they found his travel notes, rucksack and most of his gear.

“Sunday, we activated the Air National Guard and some K-9 units to assist in the search location,” Fish and Game Lt. Brad Morse said. “We’ve expanded it since then.”

A staging area was set up along Route 302 near Crawford Notch while 24 searchers worked their way through the Dry River Valley.

“We had some indications from people he talked to that he may have been fishing and hiking in the area of Dry River,” Morse said.

Auriemma’s brothers and nephew assisted in the search but have since returned to New Jersey. His brothers said that Auriemma was an avid hiker.

“He’s hiked for years, and he’s actually hiked in the White Mountains quite a number of times,” Kevin Auriemma said.

“If he had a meaning in life, this was it, trying to make the earth a better place,” Ed Auriemma said.

His brothers said they are prepared for the worst, but they are hoping for his safe return.

“They’ve got a fairly extensive search, with a helicopter, dogs out, experienced hikers out searching for him, so to say that we’re without hope, no,” Kevin Auriemma said. “But it’s not what we feel is the likely outcome here, quite frankly.”

Fish and Game officials said that if nothing substantial is found during Monday’s search, they will start scaling back.

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