Authorities are continuing their search for a missing Stevensville man, and are calling in search dog teams to assist in the effort. Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman says George Alex Baumann reportedly left his home at around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
According to authorities, Baumann told a friend he was going to cut firewood in the Ambrose Creek area, east of Stevensville.
Baumann's pickup was located in the area and Ravalli County Search and Rescue responded with ground and air crews, as well as a dog team from Jefferson County.
For friends and family, waiting for him to be located has been hard.
"I try and turn my worries into prayer and hope that he's OK," said Anna Storkson, a friend of Baumann.
"It's the not knowing what happened to him...I got a call from my sister the other night saying he was missing," said Dorothy Keller, Baumann's sister.
Authorities tried to "ping" Baumann's cell phone, which means using multiple cell towers to bounce off a phone and determine its location. However, there apparently is only one cell tower in the search area
"[If] we can only ping off one tower, that doesn't give us an exact location," said Hoffman.
Crews have been following leads and talking to people who know Baumann. One person, according to authorities, reported seeing Baumann walking on a paved area below the search area.
"That's not a confirmed sighting yet, but it's definitely one lead that we have the need to flesh out," said Hoffman.
Information like that could expand the scope of the search area.
Meanwhile, friends and family are also doing what they can, including setting up a new Facebook page to help in the search.
"He has a heart condition he has to take medications for, and all of that's still at the house," said Keller.
On Friday, authorities had to concentrate their efforts outside of the woods as they wait for six specialized search dog teams to arrive from around Montana. An initial, wide search through the wooded area with a Jefferson County dog team was unsuccessful.
"While we're waiting for these dog teams to come in from various parts of the state, it gives us an opportunity to follow additional leads and to look at the areas we've searched and maybe provide a better product in terms of search and rescue when they get here," said Hoffman.
The specialized dog crews are expected to arrive in Ravalli County on Saturday, at which point the search efforts in the woods will resume.
"We'll continue looking until we find some resolution to Mr. Baumann's whereabouts," said Hoffman.
Authorities are asking the public to avoid the Ambrose Saddle area so scent patterns will not be disrupted or destroyed.
Anyone with information regarding the search efforts or wanting to help in the search is asked to call Undersheriff Steve Holton at (406) 363-3033.