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Monday
Jun232014

Rain and Mud Hamper Search for Missing Cyclist in Texas

Flower Mound Police Department(DALLAS) -- Rain and muddy conditions are hampering search efforts for a 30-year-old Texas father who went biking on a trail on the outskirts of Dallas-Fort Worth, authorities said Monday.

Hundreds of first responders have entered their third day searching for Wesley Hixson, who was last seen Saturday morning while biking the North shore trail along Lake Grapevine in Flower Mound, Texas.

After combing through over 1,500 acres of rocky and wooded terrain, police, state troopers, firefighters and Texas Parks and Wildlife officials are still searching for Hixson, who was last seen at 10 a.m. Saturday, authorities said.

Sunday night’s search did not uncover any usable information in regards to Hixson’s whereabouts, Flower Mound Police Department Captain Richard Brooks told ABC News on his way to the search Monday.

Intermittent rain has worsened search conditions and left the trail dangerously muddy, Brooks said. Police announced Monday morning that they will no longer be accepting inexperienced volunteers, but law enforcement will continue their search.

Bike patrol officers, K-9 units, and Texas game wardens have all responded and a search helicopter hovered over the park Saturday but was unable to see through the thick canopy above the 23-mile trail, authorities said.

Hixson was with his three friends in Murrell Park when the friends decided to split into two groups of two based on skill level, authorities said. Though Hixson crashed his bike shortly after the groups separated, he assured his friend that he was fine and the two continued biking.

But the friend lost sight of Hixson, and searched around before rushing back to Hixson’s car, where he expected to see his friend, police said.

There, he found the two other members of the group with a police officer they had already contacted around 2 p.m.

More than one hundred volunteers, including Hixson’s family and friends, have aided in the search and the Arlington Fire Department has sent more than 50 firefighters in support of Hixson’s firefighter father, Lt. Tom Hixson.

The cyclist was wearing a helmet, but police suspect that he may have suffered a head injury such as a concussion, which could have disoriented him and led him off the trail.

“It’s odd for someone to get lost like this and just disappear,” Brooks told ABC News. “So that’s why we think he might have suffered a head injury when he fell.”

Brooks said law enforcement would not stop searching until they are confident that they have thoroughly covered the terrain.

Hixson was wearing a black t-shirt, black shorts, a black helmet and sunglasses when he disappeared and is described as 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio