The search resumed Wednesday for a hiker last seen Sunday in the Borrego Springs area.
Guillermo Pino was exploring the caves in an area called Arroyo Tapiado around noon with his sister, his brother-in-law and two close friends.
About 50 to 60 people with various law enforcement agencies have been looking for Pino in an area described as extremely rugged with ravines, washes, mud caves and loose dirt and rocks.
“The difficulty here is that these caves are numerous,” said Don Parker with San Diego Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. “They go vertical, they go horizontal, they go diagonal.”
Pino, described as a fairly experienced hiker, was sitting on a ledge at the top of a cave when his sister, Michelle Pino-Knaak, last saw him.
She said he was acting happy and seemed to be having a great time.
The group went to cool off inside the caves, but when they came outside about 15 minutes later Pino was no longer sitting on the ledge.
Pino-Knaak said nothing in the area looked suspicious.
"He's the type in the family who likes to venture off on his own, but he always comes back," his father Guillermo Pino Sr. said. "His nature is not to attempt foolish things."
Pino is 6 feet tall, slender with brown hair and eyes. He was last seen wearing a white shirt with black plaid and jeans. Deputies said Pino did not have shoes, food, water, a flashlight or a cell phone when he was last seen.
Pino was taking a year off from obtaining his psychology degree from UC San Diego, according to Knaak.
Search teams spread across the area south of Scissors Crossing near State Route 78 Tuesday and again Wednesday and Thursday.
Pino's family asked supporters on Facebook to join them in a prayer schedule, "every two hours beginning 8 a.m."
San Diego Sheriff's Search and Rescue, San Diego Mountain Rescue, Sycuan Fire Department are helping in the search as well as crews from Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, State Parks and Border Patrol.
The Sheriff's Department helicopter was grounded Wednesday due to bad weather.
This is the first time authorities have heard about a person gone missing in that canyon, Guillermo Sr. said. The nearest freeway is about three miles away, he added.
On Friday, search teams headed out again to look for Pino, but their efforts were somewhat derailed by the heavy rain. Again, no sign of Pino.
A status update on the Find Gullermo Pino Jr. page read: "The rain made us leave earlier than expected, we spent all day searching, unfortunately ending the day empty handed but even more determined to continue tomorrow. Special thanks to all the volunteers especially Bill with the awesome Jeep and the Desert Angels. Keep praying that tomorrow we are successful."
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