Park Closing Trails to Continue Search

Shenandoah National Park Rangers continue to search for Jose Alfonso Martins, Jr., a 42-year-old Manassas man. Search operations began Saturday, March 29 and continued through Wednesday.

The search has centered on the Keyser Run area in the park’s north district. Park officials will close the access points from both Skyline Drive and the park boundary for the following trails beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 4, 2008:

- Keyser Run Fire Road

- Little Devils Stairs

- Piney Branch

- Sugar Loaf

- Piney Ridge

- Pole Bridge Link Trail

- Hull School (from Piney Branch to Keyser Run.

Trail closures will remain in effect until further notice.

Martins left his home in Manassas on Wednesday, March 26, 2008. His family reported him missing to the Manassas Police Department on Thursday, March 27. His vehicle was located in the park on Saturday morning, March 29.

Martins is described as a male with black hair and brown eyes, 5’ 4”tall who weighs approximately 140 pounds. It is believed that he is wearing a dark blue ball cap with the words “Ocean City” printed on it. Martins is believed to be despondent.

More than 50 employees and trained volunteers, including ground searchers, dog teams and a helicopter are currently involved in the search. Shenandoah National Park personnel are currently being assisted by Appalachian Search and Rescue, Virginia Search and Rescue Dogs Association, Dogs East Search and Rescue, Top of Virginia Search and Rescue, Search and Rescue Tracking Institution, Virginia State Police, Blue and Grey Search and Rescue Dogs, Manassas Police Department, TROT Search and Rescue, and the United States Park Police.

Anyone with any information about Martins or his whereabouts is asked to call 1-800-732-0911. For additional information about the search and rescue operation please call 540-999-3300. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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