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Search For Missing San Jose Miner Continues In Nevada County Hills

NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) — An around-the-clock search continued Tuesday for a missing miner in Nevada County.

Walter Steever, 65, went mining for gold last Wednesday, but didn't return home over the weekend, worrying his family.

The Nevada County Sheriff's Department and a team of volunteers searched a rural area near Owl Creek Road in Nevada City.

The San Jose man loves mining gold for fun.

"This is obviously a hobby he cares about," said Nevada County Sgt. Sam Brown. "He would come down here frequently. You don't come out to an area like this where it's really rural and desolate in the middle of nowhere without really wanting to do that."

Crews are searching an area of more than 120 acres using dogs and around 100 volunteers climbing up rocks and cliffs in the treacherous and rugged terrain.

"It's very difficult and very steep—as you can see—very difficult to search," said volunteer Mike Daugherty.

"We have ideas of where he normally travels, and that's where we focus our searches," Brown said. "We need to eliminate those areas so that we are moving the right direction."

But with each passing hour of this 24-hour operation, the concern for Steever grows. Search and rescue crews are hopeful they'll strike gold, and bring Walter back to his family.

Rescue crews are saying this is a rescue mission, and they do not suspect foul play.

We went to the San Jose neighborhood where Steever lives, and his neighbors were quick to point out what a great guy he is.

They recalled how he discovered a dead newborn baby with his metal detector in 2005, and later build a memorial for the infant that still stands today.

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