Wednesday, search and rescue crews ended their two-day hunt for 56-year-old Bonnie Santiago on Carter Mountain in Albemarle County.
Santiago was last seen at 1 a.m. Saturday in the area of Carter Mountain Orchard at a home where her boyfriend lives. Santiago is 5”4, weighs 175 pounds, and has brown eyes and brown hair.
Search crews spent 12 hours Tuesday searching for her. Wednesday, crews picked up again and 60 searchers spent several hours searching areas of Carter Mountain. The searches turned up nothing, but Santiago's family says they still believe she is on the mountain somewhere.
Search crews plowed across Carter Mountain – some on foot, some with dogs, and others on horseback. One person in the search crews who worked out on the mountain Wednesday is a trained "man tracker" who looks for footprints and any other signs of someone moving through the area.
But at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding suspended the hunt.
“It is time now to wrap our search on this property. It is the feeling that we have searched all of the probable areas at least three times and multiple times with dogs and that we have actually gone beyond probable areas,” said Harding.
With no sign of Santiago on Carter Mountain, Albemarle police will now treat her disappearance as a missing person case.
If you know anything about Santiago’s whereabouts call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.
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