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Specialized Search Team Searches Snowy Hills For Missing Modesto Runner

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FORESTHILL (CBS13) — A specialized search team has been brought in to help find a missing Modesto runner who was last seen in running shorts and a windbreaker.

Bob Root, 55, went running near Foresthill on Sunday and got separated from his team.

“He’s in shorts, a very paper-thin jacket and running shoes, so he wasn’t prepared for the 30-degree temperatures,” said Lt. Kevin Borden with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.

UPDATE: Missing Modesto Runner Found

A storm bearing down on the region Monday with another one to follow on Tuesday is making the search for the Modesto runner difficult.

A crew from Tahoe Nordic Search Team geared up with essential survival tools like headlamps before spending Monday night in the frigid snow searching for Root.

“It’s going to be hard to walk; it’s going to be slippery; it’s going to be muddy, cold and wet for everybody,” Borden said. “They’re prepared for that. They have winterized clothing. They have special boots that stay warm. They carry packs.”

The team is specifically trained for searches like this in treacherous weather and tough terrain.

“We typically utilize them at most of the ski resorts in the snow, and that’s one of their specialties,” Borden said. “They are very good at that.”

Volunteers have been out ever since Root went missing, searching in the rain using horses and dogs along the lengthy trail. But now that rain has turned to heavy snow.

Root is an avid runner who spoke to CBS13 in August of 2010 when he helped save another runner who collapsed during the Modesto Marathon.

White-out conditions in the area could mean time is running out for Root, as heavy snow blankets the area where he was last seen.

“It’s going to make things real challenging and difficult out there,” Borden said.

And with the dropping temperatures and the lack of light, these crews could also be at risk.

“They can stay safe themselves ’cause thats paramount,” Borden said. “You gotta have your volunteers stay comfortable and stay safe.”

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