TREASURE ISLAND (FOX 13) - Search and rescue teams continue their mission to find a Treasure Island man missing in the Grand Canyon.
Floyd Roberts, III, 52, was on a hiking trip with a group. He had barely begun the journey when his group called the national park's dispatch center Saturday afternoon,
Park officials say Roberts is missing somewhere in the extreme western portion of the canyon. Since then, search and rescue crews have been checking high and low.
"We have seven teams out there right now searching by foot, one team on ATVs as well," said Emily Davis with Grand Canyon National Park. "And, our park helicopter is flying and doing some aerial searching."
Conditions are not ideal. There's an excessive heat warning at the canyon through Wednesday with temperatures in the 90s in some parts of the rim and as high as 117 degrees in the lowest elevations.
"Our search teams are battling extreme heat and dryness of course," Davis said. "That portion of the Grand Canyon is very remote. The terrain is rugged and rocky. And, up on the rim and area where they are searching is very brushy with thick pinyon and juniper trees."
Roberts' neighbors on Treasure Island say he's a very smart and resourceful man. He worked for NASA and currently teaches at Middleton High School in Tampa.
Tom Burnett, who lives next door, said Roberts has gone hiking at the Grand Canyon before and even has a map of it inside his home. He said it's not like him to separate from the group.
"He's a very generous person and he's very caring and just a great guy," said Burnett. "I thought of little else today. It's heart wrenching. We are, of course, still hoping for the best."
For now, neighbors watch and wait, hoping the next update from the National Park Service includes the word "found."
"He's extremely intelligent so we are hoping that may help him," Burnett said. I would think he would have good survivor type skills. Hopefully, he will be able to find his way or someone will be able to find him. We hope that's very soon."