Authorities in Arizona are combing the Grand Canyon’s South Rim and its surrounding areas for a hiker who vanished nearly a week ago after texting his family that he "loved everybody” and “had to give his body to Mother Earth."
Drake Kramer, 21, of San Antonio, was reported missing in Grand Canyon National Park on Monday by his family.
His family told MySanAntonio.com that they found out Sunday night that Kramer had driven first to California and then to the Grand Canyon.
"It's not like him to travel by himself," Robbin Kramer, Drake's father, said. "It's kind of a surprise since he just started school."
Drake Kramer, who is studying geology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, sent his family a group text message on Monday saying that he "loved everybody and said he had to give his body to Mother Earth," Robbin Kramer added.
"We are trying to be positive," the senior Kramer told MySanAntonio.com. "He said he loves nature, and we are trying to believe that he wants to go be in nature and explore, be on his own and deal with whatever is going on in his mind.”
Authorities found a car belonging to Kramer at the Bright Angel Lodge, where he checked out Sunday after an overnight stay.
More than 40 National Park Service workers are searching for Kramer, according to Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski, acting public affairs officer at Grand Canyon National Park.
Rescue crews have searched dozens of miles of the canyon and its South Rim – where Kramer was last seen – and have not found any traces of him.
The National Park Service announced Friday that they have expanded the search to a developed area along Highway 64 toward Grandview, ABC 15 reports.
Kramer is described as being 5 feet, 7 inches tall, with brown eyes and brown hair. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the National Park Service’s Silent Witness Line at 928-638-7840.