A California family is frantically searching for 21-year-old college student Hunter Lewis after he went missing while in the final stages of preparing a large-scale scavenger hunt.
Lewis, an aerospace engineering student at Cal State University at Long Beach, went missing back on December 30 after guiding a canoe from Trinidad Beach in the Humboldt County area of far northern California to Flatiron Rock, a small island just off the shore.
He had been planning a scavenger hunt on social media for the last two years, and was intending to place the final piece of treasure on Flatiron Rock during the fateful trip.
Related: Police Make Shocking Discovery In Home After Blind Woman Reports Husband Missing
On Thursday, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they had been conducting an underwater search for Lewis after determining he’d last been reported to have been on the canoe trip. Divers from the Humboldt Bay Fire Department were joined by other searchers from California State Parks and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in the trek.
Sadly, they did not find Hunter in Thursday’s search. However, teams did recover “pieces of his canoe,” as well as “a box Lewis’ father gave him after he solved his first scavenger hunt as a child,” according to local TV news outlet KTTV.
In a Facebook update recounting the events leading up to and following Thursday’s search, Hunter’s dad Corey Lewis thanked those who have helped look for the well-liked aeronautics and engineering student:
“Hunter would say there’s always a reason to hope. He loved physics and would tell you that the only constant in the universe is [changing] and because things are always changing that means there is always hope they can change for the better. There is always change. There is always hope. Thank you for holding on to hope each and everyone of you. Even if I don’t know you I love you.”
A GoFundMe campaign has since been created in order to aid ongoing search teams as they look for any sign of Hunter following his scavenger hunt attempt.
Grateful to those fundraisers who had secured nearly $32,000 by Friday morning, Corey added:
“I am so grateful for everyone involved in coordinating today’s efforts to find my son. Whether you were involved in the sonar operations or the dive teams you are heroes to my family. Thank you for helping us to know that at least we have done everything we could. Now we will continue the search for Hunter Lewis by air, land and sea. It’s not over. I’m not done. I’m not stopping ever. I’m going to bring Hunter home.”
You can support that campaign HERE.
According to KTTV, the younger Lewis had been hard at work for the last two years creating the aforementioned scavenger hunt, which “included math-based clues and ciphers.” The hunt even asked participants to rappel down mountains, according to the outlet.
Related: Missing New Hampshire 7-Year-Old’s Stepmother Arrested After Latest Break In Case
Nearly 200 people had been following the future aerospace engineer on Instagram as he worked towards preparing the final clue of the hunt. The college student was nearing the end of his project, and wrote these words in a social media post on December 27, just three days before he went missing:
“The treasure is now among us! And the clues have been released. Good luck on your hunt. May the best treasure Hunter win. Also be safe out there! Don’t do anything too risky. Let me know if there are any problems and I will fix them.”
Wow.”Don’t do anything too risky.”
Here is more on the ongoing investigation into Lewis’ whereabouts, from Fox 11 Los Angeles (below):
We send all our thoughts and prayers to Lewis’ friends, family, and loved ones — and desperately hope for a positive outcome in this search.