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Rescue team ends search for hiker missing on Camelback

PHOENIX -- The search for a missing hiker at Camelback Mountain ended Tuesday morning after another hourslong hunt came up empty.

Dozens of people had scoured the mountain for a third day looking for Eric Fernandes, 23, of Seattle, who was last seen Saturday. He had told his father and friends he was going hiking.

"We have covered the area we can physically cover by foot," Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said. "It is an overwhelming task that isn't ending how we wanted it to."

Helicopters were also employed in the search, which had also stopped Monday because of the excessive heat. Temperatures reached around 110 degrees. The Valley was expecting more extreme heat this week.

Fernandes came to the Valley with his father, Max, who reported him missing Sunday. His car was found at the Echo Canyon trailhead later that day.

A group of park rangers, volunteers, police officers and firefighters searched for Fernandes. His two brothers, who arrived from Seattle on Monday evening, joined the search.

Max Fernandes said he was told that his son had been seen on the mountain Saturday and was described as disoriented.

Police were also anxious to speak with a man who was seen with Fernandes at a sporting goods store.

KTAR'S Jim Cross and the Associated Press contributed to article.

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