Authorities Searching for Missing Hiker, 92, in New York Park

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SALAMANCA, N.Y. -- Searchers scoured a rugged western New York park Friday for a 92-year-old man who got lost while hiking with his 72-year-old daughter.

A state police helicopter scanned a 10-mile area of Allegany State Park from the sky while 10-member teams of searchers, some with dogs, combed the heavily wooded park on foot and all-terrain vehicles.

"It's just a tedious, needle-in-a-haystack situation," state police Sgt. Clyde Doty said.

The search for Thomas Hamilton, of Great Valley, began Thursday afternoon, a day after he and his daughter, Rebecca Huffman, of Dayton, Ohio, went off a marked trail and got lost, New York Parks Police Lt. Patrick Moriarty said.

The pair spent Wednesday night in the woods, authorities said, as the temperature dipped to 26 degrees. On Thursday morning, Huffman walked alone for several hours until emerging and calling for help.

"Her father was exhausted to the point where he could not continue to hike so she decided to hike out on her own and call for help," Moriarty said.

Doty said: "She herself was somewhat hypothermic, dehydrated. She was having a hard time remembering exactly where they were."

Police and volunteers began a search about 1 p.m. Thursday and continued looking for Hamilton into the night as temperatures again dropped into the 20s. The search was expanded Friday.

Hamilton was wearing loafers, black pants, a sweater and jacket. He may have lost a baseball hat and gloves along the way, police said. Authorities do not believe he had any food with him when he set out.

The 65,000-acre park, the state's largest, is located on the Pennsylvania border, 50 miles south of Buffalo.