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Ground Search For Snowboarder Called Off For Weather

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Placer County search and rescue teams spent much of Wednesday, December 29, 2010, searching for a missing snowboarder.

Placer County search and rescue teams spent much of Wednesday, December 29, 2010, searching for a missing snowboarder.

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PLACER COUNTY (CBS13/AP) — Adverse weather conditions have forced rescue crews to pull out of the search for a Placer County snowboarder who went missing near Alpine Meadows yesterday.

Placer County sheriff’s officials searched through stormy conditions through much of the day Wednesday for 25-year-old Shawnte Marie Willis.

The woman’s boyfriend reported her missing Tuesday afternoon after she became separated from her friends at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort. She was last seen snowboarding through ski boundary signs near the top of an advanced slope accessible by chair lifts.

Willis’ family in Humboldt County told the Sacramento Bee that she’s a strong athlete who works as a ski instructor. But her cousin, Don Hubbs, says he’s worried that Willis’ epilepsy could be triggered by the extreme stress of being lost in the snow.

Heavy snow and high wind made the search difficult and kept a National Guard Blackhawk helicopter from helping in the search throughout the day. The helicopter will search the area with an infrared camera Wednesday night.

Authorities say they are hopeful they will find the missing woman alive. The ground search is expected to begin at 7:00 a.m. Thursday.

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