GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — After an extensive 11-day search for the Florida man missing in the Smokies, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have suspended the active field search.
Rescue crews are searching for 68-year-old Gordon Kaye who has been missing in the Deep Creek area of the Smokies for more than a week, according to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
According to the news release, operations switched from active search to limited, but continuous search. The team will consist of backcountry patrols, air searches when practical and outreach to hikers heading into the area.
This comes after the park rangers announced scaling back the search of Kaye on May 3. There were 300 people from 57 agencies and four states helping with the search. Park rangers also used drones in areas where vegetation cover allowed, the news release said.
“Although this is not the outcome we wanted, we gave our best efforts and completed very thorough ground searches,” Incident Commander James Latendresse said. “The size and scale of the search were only possible with the help of our partners and the dedicated volunteers who gave their time and expertise to look for Mr. Kaye.”
The National Park Service is asking the public to contact the park dispatch center at 865-436-1230 or Swain County Dispatch at 828-488-2196 if they were in the Deep Creek area between Wednesday, April 19 and Sunday, April 23 and believe they may have seen Kaye.
“The NPS deeply appreciates the help from the agencies involved in the search,” National Park Service said.