Mother of group leader in Lost Dutchman gold mission talks to 3TV

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PHOENIX - Family of the missing treasure-hunters who are lost in the Superstition Mountains are saying they told the men to abandon their search for the legendary lost Dutchman goldmine.

Wednesday is Day 4 of the search for the treasure-hunters lost in the mountains.

Carol Merworth, Curtis Merworth’s mother, tells 3TV, “I knew something was the matter. I don’t know if they're dead or alive. I'm hoping they're alive and we can find them.

Carol is the mother of the group leader. Merworth was with 51-year-old Malcolm Meeks and 66-year-old Ardean Charles. They left Utah last Tuesday.

Carol says they were unprepared to spend even one night in the wild. “I don’t know why he didn’t take his phone.
I told him to take it. He says he doesn’t think he needs it because he's coming back, he was sure." She adds, “I tried to get them to take a basket with water and food, but they didn’t do it."

Now a team of 150 people, 25 horses, search and rescue K-9s and four helicopters have been working around the clock.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Nottingham explains, “We're trying to do as much as we can at night…much easier to be out there when the sun's not out."

Families of the missing men are staying near Salt Lake and say they have no plans to join in the desert search.

Carol says, “We couldn’t find them anyway. We'd die in the head. We don’t know how to climb the hills. I'd die, too."

Aside from the men’s’ SUV parked at the trailhead, searchers have not found any evidence of the men in the mountains.

Carol says, “I hope they find ‘em alive before things get too bad." 

Rescuers plan to search at least one more day for the men.