Volunteers to spend holiday searching Superstitions for missing Gilbert man

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

LOST DUTCHMAN STATE PARK, Ariz. --  It's been three days and two nights in the Superstition Mountains for Kenny Clark. But as time ticks on, county search-and-rescue crews say anything is possible and are staying positive.

"That right now is our only assumption, that he's still out there alive," said Sgt. Brandon Jones of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

But those who know the land know the odds, and few know it better than Rick Gwynne.

"For almost 30 years I’ve been going in and out of there," Gwynne said. "Come 10 in the morning, you're scrambling for shade. You just don't want to be out there at this temperature."

Gwynne has seen his share of lost hikers on the mountains in the decades he’s been here. In July 2010, a group of three men from Utah came to the Superstitions in search of gold. It was Gwynne who found two of the men’s bodies -- six months later. He knows the search for Clark could last just as long.

"You can be 20 feet away from somebody and they’d be under a bush and you just don’t see them," Gwynne said.  "It’s hard to believe but that’s just the way it is."

Crews on horseback and on foot aren’t stopping, knowing that if he’s alive, Clark’s challenges are mounting.

"The main concern is going to be the heat and the water, the lack of water," Jones said.

Gwynne says he wouldn’t even chance it.

"Unless you know what you’re doing, I wouldn’t go in the Supers this time of year," he said.

Most of these search-and-rescue team members are volunteers. We're told that because Wednesday is a holiday, they expect an even bigger group to show up to help to cover more of the area at one time than they have before.