Search For Missing Pa. Teacher Who Vanished on Hiking Trip 'Like Looking For a Needle in the Haystack'

Good Morning America
Glasses Thought to Belong to Pa. Teacher Who Vanished on Hiking Trip Not a Match
.

View photo

Glasses Thought to Belong to Pa. Teacher Who Vanished on Hiking Trip Not a Match (ABC News)

The family of a missing Pennsylvania high school math teacher is spearheading the search for the 39-year-old hiker who vanished on a trip to conquer the peaks of the Eastern Sierra in California over one month ago and has not been heard from since.

Matthew Greene, 39, of Bethlehem, Pa., was reported missing on July 29, according to the Mammoth Lakes Police Department. He was camping at Shady Rest Camp Ground waiting for his car to be repaired at a local shop, but no one has heard from him since July 16.

Police believe he may have gotten a ride from someone to a remote area to hike or climb.

Greene, a math teacher at Nazareth Area High School in Nazareth, Pa., was an avid hiker who went on summer-long hiking trips for as long as his family could remember. This summer was no different.

"As soon as school let out, he drove all the way out there [to California]," his sister, Tiffany Minto told ABCNews.com.

But on his drive to Mammoth Lakes, Calif., he started having car trouble. Once he arrived in town, he brought his Subaru to a local repair shop to get it fixed. But the shop kept pushing back the timeline for repairs, Minto said, and Greene's friends ended their trip while he waited for his car to be fixed.

"Matt [told his friends], 'Go on without me, I'll catch up with you. My car will be ready in a week,'" Greene's brother-in-law, Ron Minto, told ABCNews.com. "They went to Colorado without him, and that's when they started to get concerned."

But Ron Minto said that after a week went by where no one had heard from Greene, they became alarmed.

"We started to call up some close friends," he said. "Once we started to gather more information, we said, 'This is strange. This is highly unlike Matt. He's a highly meticulous person. We knew something was wrong.'"

The last time anyone heard from Greene was on July 16. He was texting with friends before going to bed around 9:30 p.m. at Shady Rest Campground, "but from there, we don't know what happened," Ron Minto said.

Since local authorities are unable to initiate a search for Greene without confirmation of his last known location, Greene's family has stepped in to helm the search.

Minto said he and his wife have been crowd-sourcing support from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as through hiker and climber forums, to gain leads in their search for Greene.

While they are working with the Mammoth Lakes Police Department, "they are limited in their resources," Ron Minto said.

What makes the search even more difficult for the family is the fact that this area is not your typical hiking country that anyone can search and scale.

"This is extremely difficult terrain," Ron Minto said. "This means a hike where you come across a 20 foot wall and you have to get over that wall with nothing."

Still, grassroots efforts have turned up possible clues. Overnight, a hiker found what appeared to be glasses similar to the ones Greene wore at one of the trailheads in the mountainous area and are working with local law enforcement to figure out if they were his.

"His prescription is unusual, so it's a really good indication," Minto said of the find. "Matt has a really bad astigmatism. Without glasses, he can see about as far as an arm's length."

Minto said a hiker contacted him after finding the glasses on a day hike about a mile out of town. The hiker knew about the search for Greene and thought the glasses looked similar to the ones he wore.

People have pooled their resources and time to help the family search. Ron Minto said that volunteers have offered the use of a helicopter and plane flyovers as well as high definition cameras.

"The outpouring of prayers, love and concern that people have shown, it restores your faith in mankind," Greene's mother, Patricia Greene told ABCNews.com. "Most of these people never met Matt. They don't know him, but they're giving their knowledge, expertise and time [to find him]. We're thankful for every one of them."

Still, the high altitude and difficult terrain pose challenges in the search.

"We understand it's an extremely dangerous terrain and the risks that are involved. It's been over 30 days," Ron Minto said. "There are crevasses in glaciers, where the ice is melting. They can open up and swallow you and no one would ever be seen again. "

Still, they remain hopeful for his safe return.

"We're still holding out. Miracles do happen," Patricia Greene said. "Whatever the outcome, we just want him found and brought home."

Green is 5'11" and 155 pounds, with brownish-blonde short hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information about his whereabouts should contact the Mammoth Lakes Police Department or Mono County Sheriff's Office.

View Comments (1121)

Recommended for You

  • Dixville Notch Casts First Votes in New Hampshire Primary

    The nine voters of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, became some of the first in the state -- and consequently, first in the nation -- to cast their ballots in the presidential primary in the early hours of Tuesday. New Hampshire has held the "First in the Nation" presidential primary since 1920, and…

    Good Morning America25 mins ago
  • 2 Trains Collide in Germany, 8 Dead, at Least 100 Injured

    Two morning commuter trains have collided in Bad Aibling in southern Germany, killing four people and injuring more than 100 others, police said.The train manufacturer, Meridian released a statement in German, saying two trains collided just after 7am local time.There is no detail on the condition…

    Good Morning America30 mins ago
  • Panda Cub Bei Bei Climbs a Tree With the Help of His Mom

    Bei Bei is moving up in the world.The Smithsonian National Zoo’s baby panda experienced the outdoors for the first time last week and now the nearly six-month-old cub is scaling trees—-with the help of his mom Mei Xiang, of course. The Washington DC based Zoo posted a video of the feat online this…

    Good Morning America
  • Countdown to New Hampshire With 5 Things to Watch in Tuesday's Primary

    Tuesday will be a critical moment on the road to the White House as residents of the Granite State cast their votes in the first-in-the-nation primary. With independents making up more than 40 percent of the electorate, the New Hampshire primary can often surprise, and that may be the case…

    Good Morning America
  • 'Girls' Star Lena Dunham Taking Time Off for 'Chronic' Illness

    The acclaimed HBO show "Girls" is back for a new season this month, but its biggest star will not being making press appearances due to a "chronic condition."Lena Dunham took to Instagram today to write, "I just wanted to let you know that, while I am so excited for Girls to return on Feb 21, I…

    Good Morning America
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rocked by Hurricane-Force Winds Heads Back to New Jersey

    A Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was rocked by hurricane-force winds overnight is sailing back to port in Bayonne, New Jersey. The ship left from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on Saturday for a seven-night cruise to the Bahamas. The company posted a message on Twitter saying that all guests are…

    Good Morning America
  • US Veteran Says He is 'ISIS Soldier,' Calls Bin Laden 'Beautiful Man,' Officials Say

    The FBI has arrested a former member of the Army on weapons charges after he allegedly expressed sympathy for ISIS, called Osama bin Laden "a beautiful man" and said the murder of government agents was "a hundred percent obligation," according to court documents filed in a Washington state federal…

    Good Morning America
  • Giant Rabbit From Scotland Looking for a Home

    The Scottish SPCA center in Glasgow has a 7-month-old continental giant rabbit up for adoption. The rabbit, Atlas, is already about the size of a Westie dog and is still expected to grow, according to a Feb. 8 press release from the Scottish SPCA. Atlas is not only the same size as a dog, but…

    Good Morning America
  • Dad Tells Other Fathers, 'Respect the Mother of Your Child' in Viral Facebook Post

    A U.K. dad’s advice to fellow dads “respect the mother of your child” has gone viral after being posted in a Facebook tribute to the mother of his 9-month-old son.Tony Emms, of Cresswell Northumberland, in the U.K., posted on Facebook last month a photo of his fiancé, Charlotte Sperry, sleeping…

    Good Morning America
  • 'Kung Fu Panda 3' Stays on Top at the Box Office

    "Kung Fu Panda 3" scored another box office win during Super Bowl weekend.The animated sequel earned an estimated $21 million in its second weekend of release.'Kung Fu Panda 3' Tops the Box Office'The Revenant' Tops Weekend Box OfficeThe Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" opened in second place,…

    Good Morning America
  • Peyton Manning Knows What He's Doing After Super Bowl Win

    Peyton Manning kept with tradition when it came to his Super Bowl celebration plans. The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl against the Carolina Panthers, 24-10. During a press conference after Sunday night's game, Manning said that he was "taking his kids to Disneyland" before he and his family…

    Good Morning America
  • WWE Wrestler Daniel Bryan to Retire

    Former WWE champion and professional wrestling star Daniel Bryan is retiring."Due to medical reasons, effective immediately, I am announcing my retirement. Tonight on Raw, I'll have a chance to elaborate. #gratitude," he tweeted on Monday.Read: Stone Cold Steve Austin: My Life After Pro…

    Good Morning America
  • Super Bowl 50: Peyton Manning 'Very Much at Peace'

    Peyton Manning says he’s “very much at peace” as he contemplates retirement from the NFL just hours after winning his second Super Bowl title. Manning, 39, finished 13 for 23 for 141 yards in the Broncos’ 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Sunday’s Super Bowl game at California’s Levi’s…

    Good Morning America
  • White House Asks Congress for $1.8 Billion to Fight Zika Virus

    The Obama administration is requesting $1.8 billion in emergency funding from Congress to fight the Zika virus in the United States and abroad, the White House announced today. The request comes after lawmakers on Capitol Hill urged the White House to address the spread of the virus, which is…

    Good Morning America
  • Dad's Piano-Playing Lullaby Soothes Baby Boy to Sleep in Seconds

    Take a look at little Samuel who couldn’t fall asleep because he had an ear infection. The moment his crafty dad starts playing his own version of the classic “Brahms’ Lullaby” however, the soothing sounds work like magic, putting the tiny tot to sleep within seconds.

    Good Morning America
  • Super Bowl 50: Beyonce Takes Fans Behind the Scenes of Her Performance

    Although Coldplay headlined the Super Bowl 50 halftime performance, all eyes were on Beyonce, who shared the stage with the British band along with pop star Bruno Mars.The singer, who announced her Formation World Tour right after the big game ended, is letting fans in on how her performance came…

    Good Morning America
  • 4 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Scoring Beyonce Tour Tickets

    Minutes after Beyonce announced her 2016 Formation World Tour during Super Bowl 50, fans flooded to her website looking for more information about the tour, and temporarily crashed the site. Fans have also been tweeting in anticipation and excitement for the ticket sales to go live. Securing…

    Good Morning America