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Active search stops for missing man

Active search stops for missing man

After an extensive 11-day search, on May 6 the Great Smoky Mountains National Park halted its active field search for missing Tampa man Gordon Kaye, 68.

“Although this is not the outcome we wanted, we gave our best efforts and completed very thorough ground searches,” said Incident Commander James Latendresse. “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.”

Kaye was last seen near a backcountry campsite Sunday, April 23, and reported missing Wednesday, April 26. A white male with brown hair and blue eyes, Kaye is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs over 200 pounds. He is an experienced hiker, camper and hunter and had reserved a campsite at Deep Creek Campground near Bryson City for 14 days.  

Operations will now switch from an active search to a limited, but continuous search that may include backcountry patrols, air searches when practical and outreach to hikers heading into the area. Additionally, a missing person investigation is ongoing, and the National Park Service will continue to follow up on any new infor mation.

Over the last two weeks, more than 300 people from 37 agencies and four states searched the ground on foot, horseback and with canine teams looking for Kaye and clues about his location. Rangers also used a drone in areas where vegetation cover allowed it.

Call Smokies Dispatch at 865.436.1230 or Swain County Dispatch at 828.488.2196 with any possible sightings of Kaye or information about his whereabouts.

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