Search efforts underway to find missing Southern California hiker

Search efforts are underway to find a Southern California woman who never returned from a hike this week, authorities said.

Narineh Avakian, 37, of Glendale, California, told family she was going on a one-day hike around noon Sunday, the Glendale Police Department said in a statement Friday.

When Avakian didn’t come back, her family reported her missing on Monday.

PHOTO: Hiker Narineh Avakian, 37, of Glendale, California, was reported missing on March 8, 2021.

Avakian often went on solo trips, the family told police, and they didn’t know where she planned to hike that day.

Her car was found Thursday afternoon parked at the Buckhorn Day Use Area along Angeles Crest Highway, authorities said. The area is located in Angeles National Forest at 6,700-foot elevation.

“It should be noted that this area was heavily impacted by the recent snowstorm,” police said in the statement.

Avakian’s car was towed for further processing at the Glendale station, and a search-and-rescue crew from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was immediately deployed alongside volunteers.

PHOTO: A still from an aerial video shows the area that Hiker Narineh Avakian, 37, of Glendale, California, was reported missing on March 8, 2021.

The search effort was suspended around 2 a.m. local time Friday, after about a foot of snow fell overnight, before resuming several hours later, police said.

The search was active as of Friday afternoon with a “large contingent” of search-and-rescue teams, said police. Authorities “highly discouraged” members of the public from conducting their own search efforts.

“At this time, there is no suspicion of foul play,” police said.

Avakian was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and white leggings. Anyone with information can call 818-548-4911.

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