Family, volunteers continue search for missing woman

Family members and volunteers are continuing their search of Mt. Tamalpais for 25-year-old Veronica Ruiz, who went missing Dec. 3 and has not been seen or heard from since, police said today.

Mill Valley resident Ruiz, an Internal Revenue Service worker who family members say was upset over a breakup with her boyfriend, told friends she was planning to hike mountain trails at around 2 p.m., according to Mill Valley police Detective Lindsay Haynes.

Ruiz was reported missing at 10 p.m. that night, police reported.

Authorities found no trace of Ruiz after combing the east side of the mountain and areas nearby since early Tuesday. Police suspended their search at 6 p.m. Wednesday until investigators find new leads, Detective Sgt. Dean Loutas said.

Reports that volunteer searchers found a backpack Ruiz may have been wearing on her hike have not been confirmed, Loutas said. Two female volunteers who saw an item resembling the backpack at dusk Sunday were unable to retrieve it, he said.

Volunteers who continued the search of the mountain over the weekend set up a base at the Holiday Inn Express in Mill Valley, hotel general manager Jeff Perry said.

Searchers gathered Saturday morning in a conference room at the hotel, according to Perry, who said the turnout for volunteers over the weekend was high.

“I’m sure they would always like more, but it was a good start,” he said.

Police are encouraging anyone with information on Ruiz’s whereabouts to contact Detective Sgt. Dean Loutas at (415) 389-4100.

Ruiz is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, 120 pounds, with dark brown hair and brown eyes, a light brown complexion and a scar on her right abdomen.

Her family said she was possibly wearing trail running shoes, black running Capri pants and carrying a gray and orange Camelback water supply.

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