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Tuesday
Aug272013

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

The Mammoth Lakes Police Department(MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif.) -- The glasses discovered in the California wilderness where a 39-year-old hiker vanished more than a month ago on a trip to conquer the peaks of the Eastern Sierra did not match the missing man's prescription, officials said.

Matthew Greene, 39, a math teacher who lived in Bethlehem, Pa., was reported missing July 29, according to the Mammoth Lakes Police Department. The avid hiker was camping at Shady Rest Campground waiting for his car to be repaired at a local shop, but no one has heard from him since July 16.

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

The last time anyone heard from Greene was when he was texting with friends before going to bed around 9:30 p.m. at Shady Rest Campground July 16, "but from there, we don't know what happened," brother-in-law 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.

Greene's sister, Tiffany Minto, and her husband, Ron, have been crowd-sourcing support from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as through hiker and climber forums, to aid in the search.

The family thought they had gained a possible lead when a hiker found glasses at a trailhead in the mountainous area that appeared to be similar to the ones Greene wore in pictures.

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.

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

The hiker brought the glasses to the Mammoth Lakes Police Department on Aug. 23, which sent the glasses to the nearest optometrist in Bishop, Calif., on Monday to see if they were a match.

But the prescription glasses did not match Greene's own lenses, said Mammoth Lakes Police Department Chief Dan Watson.

"The glasses that were found were regular, over-the-counter reading glasses you can buy in a drug store or market," Watson told ABC News. "They were a very similar style to the ones shown in photographs of him wearing glasses, but it was also a common style."

With no official location to start the search and no new leads, it is difficult for officials to say where Greene might be or if he is still alive.

"The area where we're talking about is so vast it isn't even funny," Undersheriff Robert Weber of the Mono County Sheriff's Office said. "So far, nothing has come back giving us a location to even start."

Detective Doug Hornbeck of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department told ABC News, "We're just hoping that some climbers or hikers will come across him somewhere."

Since Greene mysteriously vanished, two hikers reported missing in the past month were discovered in the rugged terrain after falling to their deaths, Watson said.

"[Greene's disappearance] is not an unusual incident. What is unusual is that he has not been discovered," he said. "He was an accomplished mountaineer and a responsible individual. That makes it a little more perplexing."

Greene is 5-foot-11, 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.

ABC News' phone calls to Greene's family were not immediately returned.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio