Search continues for Virginia veterinarians - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Search continues for Virginia veterinarians

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

It's been five days since Jason Hiser and Neal Peckens were last seen alive. Both are veterinarians. Hiser practices out of Richmond; Peckens out of Herndon.

Sunday, there is new evidence suggesting search crews are getting close. Even though field teams have suspended the main search for the night, some crews will still be out all night looking for the hikers.

Dozens spent Sunday searching from the ground, and the sky hoping to find 32-year-old Jason Hiser and 32-year-old Neal Peckens alive.

A spokesperson with Glacier National park says the two had a special permit to hike the treacherous terrain.  

"We know they had a back country permit and that permit showed where they were going to be hiking so we at least have a general area so we have a high probability area of where they were," said Park Spokeswoman, Denise Germann.

From coast to coast, hundreds of people have been commenting on Facebook praying crews will find the friends alive.

Relatives reported the hikers missing Friday when they missed their flight home. Glacier National Park staff says they were most likely hiking in the "Two Medicine" area known for high elevation and advanced trails for experienced hikers.  

Teams have been canvassing the woods since Saturday. Sunday, crews did find evidence of the two including a fire ring and tracks, but the four to five foot snow drifts are only making search efforts worse.  

"Perhaps the weather has something to do with this," Germann added. "We're not sure what's going on but we'll continue to do what we can." 

Back at home in Richmond, friends and relatives close to Jason Hiser keep praying for his safe return. Jason works at Broad Street Veterinarian Hospital. According to the website, he's been working there since 2006.   

Relatives say Neal Peckens is also a veterinarian in northern Virginia. They say both men loved nothing more than to be active and outside. As crews continue to search through the frigid night, relatives hope and pray they'll find the two men alive.

The mother of a good friend of both men says at the time, her son was at the store buying snow boots so he can join the search efforts, when they resume bright and early Monday morning.

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