Montana park rangers search for 2 missing Virginia hikers

Posted at 8:01 PM, Oct 14, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-14 20:01:50-04

Park rangers in Montana are searching for two hikers who have gone missing.
Both are from Virginia.  

His name is on the door at Broad Street Veterinary Hospital in Richmond.

But now park rangers in Glacier National Park are searching for 32-year old Jason HIser and his friend, 32-year old Neal Peckens from Reston, VA.

The National Park Service says the pair left on a hiking trip in glacier on Tuesday, but now their whereabouts are unknown.

After the men were reported missing Friday, park rangers found the vehicle they were driving and began searching for them.

But crews say weather conditions in Glacier have made the search difficult.

“He loves the outside, loves the outdoors, loves to bike he loves to run.  He’s very physically fit. ”  

Dr. Hiser works at Broad Street Veterniary Hospital and lives in Richmond with his wife.

“He’s just a gentle giant, he’s a wonderful person, and we will keep our prayers alive.”  

The former college football player who became a vet met Peckens, his hiking partner, in vet school.

Dr. Hiser’s family says both men are experienced hikers.  

Family members describe Dr. Hiser as a loving, caring man.
“Everybody is completely torn up.  It’s the not knowing.”

Der Au Michaels has worked with Dr. Hiser since 2006.

She’s been in contact with his family and is consistently checking for updates.

“They did say that this morning the weather wasn’t good, but this afternoon it started to break and they did have helicopters up in the air.”

Park rangers from other states have been called to Montana to help search for Hiser and Peckens.

But in Richmond, optimism is the guiding force for those who know Dr. Hiser.

“Our prayers are with not only the family but also everyone that’s in Glacier looking for him.”  Said Jina Maio.

“He’s coming home and he’ll be home soon.”

Crews have been searching the past two days and will continue looking.
Doctor Hiser’s family says his wife is in Richmond for now.