Searchers Scour Aptos Retreat Area For Missing Hiker

Witnesses said they saw a man asking for directions back to the retreat center but he failed to appear at church service at noon Sunday.


Search-and-rescue teams are scouring the area around an Aptos retreat for a 74-year-old man who went missing on Sunday.

George Sliter, a retired nuclear engineer from Redwood City, was reported missing by his friends, who last saw him around 8:45 a.m. at the Monte Toyon center when they ate breakfast together, sheriff's deputy April Skalland said.

Monte Toyon, located at 220 Cloister Lane, is a camp and conference  center used by nonprofit groups. The center is owned by a group
affiliated with the Methodist Church, according to the camp's website.

When the man's friends didn't see him in a church service at the retreat, they alerted sheriff's deputies around noon, Skalland said.

"His car is still parked there," Skalland said, adding that his friends suspected the man may have gone on a hike alone.

A resident in the Vienna Woods area, which is on the other side of The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park from the retreat center, reported that a man who looked like Sliter asked for directions back to the center around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Skalland said.

That's the last anyone has seen of him, Skalland said.

Monte Toyon Retreat Center is at the end of Cathedral Drive, adjacent to Nisene Marks—10,000 acres of rugged, dense redwood forests.

Skalland said Sliter is not carrying a cell phone, and has no camping or other outdoor experience. He has no serious medical issues, but may be experiencing depression and/or lapses in short-term memory.

He doesn't have any friends in the area, the Sheriff's Office noted.

Sunday's search ended around 10 p.m. Volunteers picked up again at 7 a.m. Monday.

About 100 Search and Rescue volunteers are looking for Sliter. Volunteers were on foot and on horseback, as well as riding quads and dirt bikes. Six police dogs and a helicopter also are involved in the search, Skalland said.

"We're lucky. We have really nice weather right now," Skalland said.

Sliter is married and works as a math tutor in Redwood City schools, according to the Sheriff's Office.


—Bay City News Service contributed to this report


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