'Still No Sign' in Search for Missing Hikers

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," June 17, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a "`FOX News Alert." There is a massive search by ground and air tonight for two young women hikers missing in the Alaskan wilderness. Abby Flantz, 25, and Erica Nelson, 23, left Thursday morning for a short camping trip in Denali National Park and Reserve, the national park that contains Mt. McKinley. They were supposed to return on Friday. On Saturday, the pair failed to report to work at a lodge outside the park and were reported missing. Since then, searchers have been fanning out across the park, combing the massive park, searching for the two women.

Joining us on the phone with the latest on the search is Kris Fister, spokesperson for Denali National Park. Kris, what's the latest in the search for these two?

KRIS FISTER, DENALI NATIONAL PARK: We still have found no sign of either one of the missing backpackers. We had 11 grounds crews out in the field today, and a crew is anywhere from three to four people. We use them to search the more heavily wooded and brushy areas that we can't search effectively from the air. So 11 ground crews, which included also two dog teams. We had three helicopters aiding the search effort today, and also one fixed-winged aircraft. So a lot of manpower, people power out there, a lot of resources, but still no sign of them.

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VAN SUSTEREN: Any unusual weather conditions?

FISTER: The weather conditions have been very typical for interior Alaska this time of the year. High temperatures have been in the 60s, lows at night in a 40s. Our forecast almost any day in the summer is mostly cloudy, chance of showers, and that's pretty much what we've had, so some cloudy conditions, some sun and some intermittent shower activity over the course particularly of the last couple of days. It was actually very warm on Saturday, probably around 70 degrees. That's pretty warm for here.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is this a national where you need a permit to stay overnight, for instance? If so, anything -- you know, does that give any indication of what their intentions were?

FISTER: Yes, we require a wilderness permit for any overnight stay in the park's back country. It just requires that they need to be in a specific unit in the back country. We don't have trailhead quotas, as do many national parks, because we don't have much in the way of developed trails, so we have unit limits or quotas. And so they had a permit for unit (INAUDIBLE) 25. They're numbered here. It's a unit in the vicinity of Mt. Healy. And certainly, we have many people going out into the units during the course of the year.

VAN SUSTEREN: Kris, thank you, and good luck.

FISTER: You're welcome.

VAN SUSTEREN: Rod Tollefson is a spokesperson for Abby Flantz's family. Rod joins us live from Minneapolis. Rod, I imagine that the family is frantic at this point.

ROD TOLLEFSON, FLANTZ FAMILY SPOKESMAN: Yes, it's pretty hard, but they're a very strong family. They've got good strong Christian beliefs, and they're banking on that. And they're hanging in there. I'm really proud of the way they're handling the whole situation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Rod, do you know if Abby is experienced in the outdoors, if she has any special training?

TOLLEFSON: She's done backpacking and hiking in the past. She's done some camping. She went out a couple times up there, too, I guess. But she's just really is not familiar with that area, that terrain, but she's done backpacking and camping in the past.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is this a summer job, or has she been living in Alaska?

TOLLEFSON: No, she went up there the beginning of May, May 3, and it was going to be a summer job for her. She loves that type of scenery and stuff, and she was just going to go up there for an experience and work through the summer months.

VAN SUSTEREN: I take it she's from the Minneapolis area. Erica Nelson, do you know anything about her? Because I understand that she was supposed to be her sister's wedding, maid of honor, supposed to fly out to Houston on Sunday night. Do you know anything more about Erica?

TOLLEFSON: No, I really don't know much about Erica. I know that Abby met her up there at work and they became good friends and have camped and stuff. So I really don't know much about Erica at all.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So Erica was -- Erica was supposed to leave Sunday to become -- to be the maid of honor in her sister's wedding in Houston. Have both families, both Erica and Abby's family, now gone to Alaska to help in the search?

TOLLEFSON: I know that Abby's mother and father went up today. They should be landing up in Alaska -- well, they left here at 5:00 o'clock, so it'd be about a five-hour flight. So we're going to -- when we get home, we're going to check in and see how they're doing. But you know, like I said, I really don't know much about Erica's family and what's going on there.

VAN SUSTEREN: Rod, thank you. And you know, good luck to -- to her family, if you'd convey that from us, because certainly, there's reason to have fear. Those are dangerous places. But hopefully, their training (ph) can take the weather. Thank you, Rod.

TOLLEFSON: Yes, thank you.

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