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Search for missing woman hiking in Lake Mead comers up empty

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Updated: 6/14 5:53 pm

UPDATE: Christie Vanover of the National Park Service said 20 volunteers searched the area on Saturday and found no clues as to the location of the missing woman. Based on the territory covered by land and air, rangers don't believe she is in the area.

LAKE MEAD – A Henderson man was found dead within Lake Mead National Recreation Area after hiking to the Arizona Hot Spring on June 3.

A Henderson female, who was possibly with him, has been reported missing.

The Lake Mead National Recreation Area Interagency Communication Center received a call at 3:31 p.m. June 5, reporting that a body had been found about 150 yards from the Colorado River near Arizona Hot Spring.

Around the same time, a call came into the communication center, indicating that James Edward Johnson, Jr., 62, and his unknown female companion left to hike the trail June 3 with little food and no water and hadn't returned.

Rangers with the National Park Service and Arizona Department of Public Safety flew the area searching for the individuals. Rangers located Johnson and contacted the Mohave County Medical Examiner to confirm his identity and determine cause of death. The female was not found, nor was any evidence that she had accompanied him down the trail.

June 13, family and friends of Christina Diane Montes, 35, told rangers that she was planning to camp with Johnson on June 3 and that she hasn’t been heard from since that date.

The family describes her as 5-feet-2 inches tall and weighs about 100 pounds. She has a tan complexion, brown eyes and short brown hair. She was last seen wearing white skinny jeans, a blue three-quarter length sleeve top and white flip flops.

The National Park Service and Arizona Department of Public Safety plan to continue search efforts with volunteers from Mohave County Search and Rescue.

Rangers highly discourage hiking to the Arizona Hot Spring from June to September due to excessive heat. The strenuous trail is 6 miles round trip with no shade, no potable water and limited cell phone service.

When hiking in the desert, people need to carry one to two gallons of water per person.

Anyone with information on Montes’ possible whereabouts should contact the Lake Mead Interagency Communication Center at (702) 293-8998.

-- News release

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