PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. (AP/CBS) — A search for a Massachusetts man missing since March 10 has led investigators to look for clues on Mount Washington trails in New Hampshire, but so far, none have turned up.
Officials say information on the whereabouts of 21-year-old Stephon Sou, of Dracut, Massachusetts, remained unknown until his vehicle was found parked at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center at the mountain on Saturday.
Searchers received information that Sou might have been seen hiking in the Cutler River drainage on Friday and most recently on the Mount Washington Auto Road on Saturday. Searchers combed the area searching for any signs of Sou.
“Maybe he was just hiking and maybe he’s hurt or got lost,” said Linda Chan Flynn, Sou’s aunt.
On Monday, family and friends surveyed Sou’s Honda Civic. They found a sporting goods store receipt indicating he’d bought items for a solo assault on the summit.
“He stopped at the store, grabbed a new coat, new pack, some ice picks, boots,” said Tevin Meas-Em, Sou’s friend.
“We’re really scared that that’s what he was trying to do,” said Linda Chan Flynn.
Sou’s previous experience included only a handful of day hikes in ratty sneakers, a far cry from sub-zero nights in the wind-driven snow.
“There’s no way that you can survive up there unless you find shelter,” Meas-Em said.
Sou’s family fears he may not be thinking straight.
“He struggled with mental health since he was a teenager,” Linda Chan Flynn said.
But they’re hopeful that people will see his picture and remember something that will get searchers back out in the snow.
Officials said due to the immense area, deep snow, and the lack of specificity as to where Sou might have gone, the search has been suspended pending additional information.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)