Hiker lost in Superstition Mountains for 2nd time in just over 2 months

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 7:53 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 22 at 6:51 PM

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PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. -- Search crews out of Pinal County are looking for a lost hiker in the Superstition Mountains.

This is not the first time Robin Byrd, 51, has gotten lost while hiking. On Dec. 10, she got lost while searching for the fabled Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine. She was missing for about 24 hours before search-and-rescue crews found her.

Many hikers have died while looking for the legendary mine.

Byrd's friends reported her missing when she didn't show up at the Peralta Trail.

At this point, crews from both Pinal County and Maricopa County are searching for Byrd on the ground, but the weather is keeping them from launching a helicopter.

Sgt. Brian Messing of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue team said Byrd was last seen at about 4 p.m. Tuesday. "It's going to be about a four-hour hike into the area to get up in there," he said.

Messing said there have been several occasions in which search teams have had to go after hikers more than once.

"People don't learn from the first time," he said.

The last time she was lost, Byrd was lucky enough to find an abandoned campsite with food and water, Messing said.

"Hopefully she's that lucky again," he said.

PCSO spokesman Tim Gaffney confirmed that the search for Byrd is one of three operations in the last 12 hours.

The first two parties were found safe.

The group of three men reported missing at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday was found just after 12:30 a.m. in the area of Weaver's Needle. They say they talked to Byrd on the Peralta Trail and actually got lost because she gave them wrong directions to the parking lot.

The other search operation involved a woman who left her husband on the trail. She was missing for two to three hours.

Nobody in either of those operations was injured.

The Superstition Mountains are east of Phoenix. The closest city is Apache Junction.

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