Search and rescue crews working to locate missing man in American Fork Canyon

AMERICAN FORK, Utah -- Crews are working to locate a missing man who disappeared in American Fork Canyon Wednesday after going trail running.

Derrik Jenkins was last seen Wednesday, around 4:30 p.m., Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff's Office said.

A Facebook page dedicated to finding Jenkins stated that he is "very experienced in the outdoors and is close to his goal of summitting 100 unique peaks in one year."

Jenkins was believed to be trying to reach Box Elder Peak the day he went missing, the Facebook page said.

Search and rescue crews are on the ground hiking and searching the area for Jenkins, Cannon said. Searchers were out Thursday night until 11 p.m., then resumed their efforts Friday morning.

A Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter joined in the search of a vast area of rugged, mountain terrain Friday.

“You have to consider, if he has been injured or lost, did he somehow or someplace go off a trail,” Cannon said. “We need to search those areas, too.”

Many of Jenkins family members are waiting for word of his whereabouts at a volunteer command post located at the trailhead near the Granite Flat campground where Derrik’s car remains parked.

“I was telling his girlfriend, ‘Derrik’s smart, he found somewhere to hole up. He’s still there,’” said Stacey Shaw, Derrik’s aunt.

Derrik has been living with Shaw since May.

“He would come home pretty much every day and say, “I hit five summits today. I hit two summits today,’” Shaw said. “I’d say, ‘who does that?’”

When Derrik didn’t come home Wednesday night, Shaw wasn’t too concerned.

“Sometimes he would go out on the mountain and it would be late and he would just stay out,” Shaw said.

But when he didn’t show up for work Thursday, she began to worry.

Now, as the hours pass with no sign of her nephew, she is refusing to give up hope.

“We’re just saying a lot of prayers,” Shaw said. “That’s what I have to have faith in because if I don’t, then why are we searching? I have to keep having faith that he is going to be ok.”

Volunteers, including many of Jenkins hiking friends, are helping with the search.

Anyone with information on Jenkins' whereabouts can call (801) 851-4000.

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