Crews move command station further south

Search and Rescue crews have moved their command center several miles south of their original location in hopes of locating a local man missing for a week.

Ross John Artese, 48, went missing in the evening hours last Friday, after going for a hike with his dog.

He was last seen in the area of East Mesquite Avenue just north of the Southern Nevada Detention Facility.

His vehicle, a silver SUV, was located just off of Mesquite.

Crews have now established the command area at Basin Avenue and Higley Road.

Authorities said the vehicle was well-stocked with camping gear and supplies.

Nye County Sheriff’s Deputy John Bergstrom said up to 25 members of the Search and Rescue team are scouring the desert in hopes of locating Artese, as well as assistance from other southern Nevada agencies.

“We have had Civil Air Patrol in the air for the past two days and that plane will be flying over throughout this (Thursday) morning,” he said. “If they do spot anything, they will notify us and we will go and investigate.”

Bergstrom noted Search and Rescue crews decided to move their position due to better access to provisions.

“This area is much better for resupplying our crews and to get equipment in and out, and it’s also creating an exterior perimeter to give us boundaries both in the south and east and that’s what our tractors are doing right now,” he said. “They are checking to see if there are tracks crossing those boundaries to see if he left the search area.”

The sheriff’s office issued a press release on Thursday indicating crews located tracks on the desert floor not long after the man went missing last week, but were forced to suspend the search due to nightfall.

Any information gathered will be provided to the state Search and Rescue coordinator for analysis.

“A foot team located footprints and signs of a person traveling in an easterly direction toward Mt. Charleston,” the release stated. “Due to darkness, the search was suspended until morning. Foot patrols, mounted horse patrols, and quads were used to search as well as four-wheel drive vehicles. The foot tracks and signs were followed as far as possible but due to the terrain they were lost. Further spiral and grid search patterns were unable to regain any signs of Artese.”

The release also stated air crews have yet to locate any signs of the man or his dog.

Bergstrom, meanwhile, said search crews are unaware whether the man brought along sufficient water and food supplies before he set out.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to speculate on that,” he said. “We have very limited knowledge on his level of skills as far as hiking and camping. We do know that he does carry camping equipment frequently inside of his vehicle and that would indicate he had some experience but that level of experience I can’t say.”

Bergstrom also said members of the community have offered to assist in the search.

“We do have a number of individuals who want to volunteer but we are still not taking volunteers,” he said. “I cannot say when the search will be called off because that’s still to be determined.”

 

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