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Search Underway For Missing UC Berkeley Student Hiking In Sierra

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EL DORADO COUNTY (KPIX 5) — Search and rescue teams are scouring parts of El Dorado County for a UC Berkeley student who went on a hike on Friday and hasn’t been seen since.

Vernon “Cody” Matthews was dropped off at his family’s cabin in the Ice House area near Lake Tahoe last Wednesday. According to his family, his mother last spoke to him on the phone on Friday.

Matthews’ parents called sheriff’s officials on Saturday, after they and his girlfriend hadn’t heard from him.

“And I thought, ‘Oh no, he didn’t call me when he said he would.’ He didn’t call his parents like he said he would,” said Somanette Rivas, Matthews’ girlfriend.

Crews from eight different counties are now looking for Matthews. The U.S. Forest Service and the California Highway Patrol are also assisting in the search efforts.

Matthews is 23-years-old. His parents said he is an avid hiker who knows the area well. He had been staying at the cabin alone, and his personal belongings are still there. His cellphone has not been used since Friday.

“We don’t have anything that we can identify that shows any foul play. He’s got no illnesses, he doesn’t have medicine that that he has to take or anything of that nature,” said Lt. Tim Becker of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department.

The area where Matthews was last seen is in the lower Sierra Nevada. High temperatures have been in the 80s since the weekend.

The search will continue on Wednesday.

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