With deer hunting season opening Saturday, more than 100 of these #findsamsayers signs are being posted along the Mountain Loop Highway. Seattle hiker Samantha Sayers has been missing since Aug. 1 at Vesper Peak. (Courtesy of Julie Newberry)

With deer hunting season opening Saturday, more than 100 of these #findsamsayers signs are being posted along the Mountain Loop Highway. Seattle hiker Samantha Sayers has been missing since Aug. 1 at Vesper Peak. (Courtesy of Julie Newberry)

Hunters asked to look for signs of missing hiker Sam Sayers

A new sign campaign tells deer hunters to look for any trace of missing Seattle hiker.

DARRINGTON — Hunters will be going off-trail all over east Snohomish County, with deer season opening Saturday.

To those searching for Seattle hiker Samantha Sayers, it’s a new army of eyes who can be looking for a piece of clothing, an abandoned trekking pole or any shred of evidence that could solve her disappearance.

All across the Mountain Loop Highway, volunteers are posting signs with a yellow-and-black border. They show Sayers and her hiking gear: a violet Local Lion backpack; blue La Sportiva mountaineering boots; a gray beanie.

The signs ask hunters and late-season hikers to report tips to 911. More than 100 signs were being posted at coffee stands, gas stations and travel hot spots.

Sayers, a resident of the Belltown neighborhood in Seattle, has been missing since the afternoon of Aug. 1, when she went hiking on the rugged Sunrise Mine Trail to Vesper Peak, about 75 miles northeast of her home. At the time, she was 27.

Expert searchers from around the state gave 8,000 work hours, scouring dramatic terrain with helicopters and dogs. They found no trace of Sayers.

The vast majority of the official search was carried out by mountaineers, pilots and dog handlers who donated their time. They used their own gear and risked their lives to search icy moats, snow bridges and drainages. Local mountain rescue crews run on donations.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office suspended its search Aug. 23.

In September, a small volunteer search crew led by Sayers’ fiance and his father set up a base camp on a ridge between Vesper and Sperry peaks. They flew in gear to continue searching by drone and by foot.

Alpine winter blanketed the 6,220-foot peak in snow last week, forcing the team to retreat from the high camp. Sayers’ fiance, Kevin Dares, promised to keep searching into the fall season, at lower elevations. Meanwhile, the new signs are being put up by Julie Newberry, of Darrington, and Debbie Strotz, of Arlington, who have been following the story of Sayers and her loved ones.

“I’m just hoping for some closure for them, before winter,” Newberry said.

Newberry noted that a hunter tromping through remote brush, chasing a deer, might not think much of a piece of clothing on the ground. So they hope their efforts will keep folks on the alert around Granite Falls, Darrington and Monte Cristo.

Sayers’ mom, Lisa Sayers, has posted daily videos to a Facebook page, #findsamsayers, with 35,000 followers.

“We don’t have Sam yet,” she began one of her videos this week. “ ‘Yet.’ That is the operative word. Eventually, I won’t have to say that.”

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A portion of the site of the proposed Lake Stevens Costco at the intersection of Highway 9 (right) and South Lake Stevens Road (below, out of view). (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Shovel alert: Groundbreaking on Lake Stevens Costco is near

A land sale in early June cleared the way. The mayor says dirt could be flying as soon as next week.

Taleah Burr (left right), Laurel Harrison, Caitlin Hitchner and Kelsey Jinneman-Fairbanks are four teachers at Challenger Elementary in Everett got Roman numeral '4' tattoos to represent their "Core 4" solidarity the day after their first year teaching in 2014.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Inked: Third-grade teachers tattoo their solidarity IV-ever

Most of their Challenger Elementary students don’t know about the hidden badge of teacher pride.

In Edmonds, ‘small cell’ deployment permit becomes a big deal

The City Council has allowed new cellular equipment under an ordinance that regulates conditions.

Woman killed in hit-and-run south of Everett is identified

Detectives have been searching for the vehicle that struck Katherine Mueller, 31, of Snohomish.

Highway 99 fatal crash victim from Seattle identified

Sarah Cooper was the passenger in the car that reportedly crossed into oncoming traffic in Lynnwood.

The passenger loading ramp is nearing completion at the new Mukilteo ferry terminal. (Andrea Brown / The Herald) Feb. 4, 2021
State ferry fares set to rise for drivers and walk-ons

A state panel proposed a 2.5% hike in each of the next two years to cover the system’s operating costs.

Officers surrounded a Motel 6 near Everett Tuesday morning after a reported rape. A man tried to flee but was subdued and arrested. (Ellen Dennis / The Herald) 20210615
Man arrested after standoff at motel over reported rape

Surrounded by a SWAT team near Everett, the man tried to flee but was subdued with pepper balls.

Arlington-area man arrested in fatal machete attack on uncle

The nephew, 31, claimed self-defense. It was an argument over a wheelbarrow, a sheriff’s deputy wrote.

Jeff Thoreson does a cheer with his second grade class before the start of their kickball game on his last in-person day of school on Thursday, June 17, 2021 in Snohomish, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish teacher hit the right notes in memorable career

Jeff Thoreson will retire this month after molding minds at Riverview Elementary School for 41 years.

Most Read