Scout’s family still hopeful

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    By KATE JACKSON

    UINTA MOUNTAINS ? The search for 11-year-old Brennan Hawkins continued Monday with no luck, but his family is not ready to give up, saying the kindness of strangers keeps the hope alive.

    ?Finding no clues adds to the frustration but doesn?t minimize the efforts,? said Bob Hawkins, Brennan?s uncle and family spokesman.

    Over 600 volunteers joined the effort Monday, in hopes to find the boy scout who disappeared Friday night from Bear River Boy Scout Camp ? 50 miles east of Kamas in the Uinta Mountains.

    Hawkins was last seen at a climbing wall near the camp with a friend. The climbing wall supervisor said he saw Hawkins removing his climbing harness and leave for the dining hall with his friend. When he turned around, the harness was on the ground but Hawkins was nowhere to be found.

    Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said there may have been a sort of ?race? among the boys to get back to the dining hall fast and Hawkins may have taken a different, less-traveled path.

    Edmunds said search efforts have focused on high probability areas, around the climbing wall and river but also on low probability areas such as the high ridges that surround the campsite. Monday?s search specifically focused on Bear River.

    ?That river is a nightmare,? Edmunds said.

    Trained swift water rescue teams discovered Monday the river to be deeper than they had originally thought ? over 10 feet in some places, Edmunds said.

    Volunteers on horseback, ATVs and foot searched a 6-mile radius with GPS trackers and assigned grids.

    Shane Sullivan, from Orem, searched for over four hours before calling it a day. Close friends with Hawkins aunt and uncle, Sullivan felt a responsibility to volunteer.

    ?You?re up here because you feel it could be your child, your brother,? Sullivan said.

    Steve Peterson and his wife Stacey, from Sandy, took off work to volunteer Monday, although they are of no relation to the boy. Peterson said he remembered camping at the same site as a young boy.

    ?Every hill looks like the other hill up here, it?s easy to get lost,? Peterson said.

    It is this kindness of strangers that keeps the hope alive, said the boy?s aunt Cristy Meimers, teary eyed at the end of another unsuccessful search day.

    ?Brennan is alright, in whatever capacity,? Meimers said.

    Summit County currently has four detectives working on a criminal investigation of the case but Edmunds said an abduction in such wilderness is unlikely.

    ?If there is such a thing as a ?normal abduction? this would not fit into those perimeters,? he said.

    For more information on how to help out in the search go to findbrennan.org.

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