I-Team: Family Seeks Closure in Man's Disappearance - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Family Seeks Closure in Man's Disappearance

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LAS VEGAS -- Nony Herrera went missing in 2010. His car and a mysterious box of his belongings were found at Mount Charleston, but his body was never found.

The I-Team joined Red Rock Search and Rescue volunteers retracing Herrera's steps. It's been three years since his car was found at the Trail Canyon parking lot. A box with his cash, passports and credit cards was found far off the trail. The group of volunteers with advanced training and equipment pledge to never give up the search for Herrera.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. The mountain is as forbidding as it is steep. For there is a secret they keep.

"We're here searching for Nony Herrera," Red Rock Search and Rescue volunteer Dana Richardson.

He leads the dozen volunteers.

"Nony went missing from this parking lot about three years ago," he said.

The morning air is nearly frozen as the volunteers set out to bring closure to Herrera's family.

"He's a loving father, husband. Cause he loved his family more than life itself. And he loved his sisters very much. I know he would not put us through this pain," Herrera's sister Mari Fernandez said.

Herrera confided he sought in-patient treatment for a psychotic episode. His wife confirms newly diagnosed mental health issues prompted her to take their children and leave in June 2010.

At the time, Herrera had a cast on his left arm and he was never known to travel to Mount Charleston. Searches by Metro rescue teams turned up nothing.

"Look under rocks, looks under trees. Look under anything," Richardson tells the volunteers.

Assisting the team are two dogs trained in finding human remains.

"They'll track for miles to find somebody," volunteer Debbie Smith said.

The search centers around a tree dozens of feet off the trail. This is where two hikers found a box a year after Herrera's disappearance. The box held his passports, credit cards and cash.

Early in the search, there is a sign of hope as one of the volunteers requests a forensics expert. What the volunteer found was a bone which turned out to be from an animal.

Since Herrera wore jewelry and anything could be a clue, volunteers examine every glimmer amidst the rock.

"That's the stuff that if you don't actually get down there and look at it and touch and search and think about it and see what it is, you'll be laying in bed tonight thinking what if?" Richardson said.

Hours of painstaking and dangerous searching doesn't lead to further clues. The volunteer team begins to fear the possibility that Herrera kept going on the trail after dropping off his box. He could be anywhere.

It's easy to get altitude sickness at 10,000 feet. One wonders if Herrera faced the same disorienting sickness.

"Bottom line, we want to get information to Mari to let her know we're clearing areas and finding out where Nony is not. That's what we did here today," Richardson said.

How Herrera, in his condition, could make the climb still seems to puzzle everyone. On their way down the mountain, the volunteers do spot a steep wash. They decide it will be a target area for their next search which will be in the coming months.

They believe three years of rains, flooding and animals could have carried Herrera's remains far from the site.

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