UPDATE: Volunteer groups take over search for missing hiker near Eagle River Nature Center

A volunteer searcher checks in at the Eagle River Nature Center to search for a man overdue from a hike. (KTUU)
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Update 4:00 p.m.:

The first phase of the search for a hiker who went missing near the Eagle River Nature Center Tuesday evening was unsuccessful. Now a team of volunteers familiar with the terrain is taking over the search.

Anchorage Police conducted the initial search with the help of state park rangers and state troopers. Alaska Mountain Rescue Group has taken over, according to search coordinator Bill Romberg.

Alaska Solstice Search Dogs, another volunteer group, has also joined the search.

Troopers on the scene referred reporters to a Troopers spokesperson.

Original story:

A search is underway for a man who was reported missing after he failed to go home Tuesday night, park officials said Wednesday.

The missing man, Neil Guggenmos, was known to hike in the area of the Eagle River Nature Center and then go home. His wife reportedly found his car parked in the parking lot after he did not return.

Alaska State Troopers described Guggenmos as being 6 feet tall and 260 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. Troopers said Guggenmos is reportedly familiar with the trail system there and the trails are in good condition.

Asta Spurgis, director of the ERNC, said that Guggenmos had paid for a day pass in the parking lot and had the fee envelope on his dashboard.

Spurgis said her staff has not seen visible bear activity in the area aside from some tracks by riverbeds, not uncommon for the season.

Multiple agencies are involved in the search, including State Park Rangers, Alaska State Troopers, and the Anchorage Police Department.

Megan Peters, spokesperson for AST, asked that people do not go out looking for him in the area of the ERNC.

"We have professional SAR volunteers, Park Rangers and Troopers searching. APD is also involved," Peters said.

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