Tampa Bay teacher missing in Grand Canyon

Floyd Roberts went missing during a hike in the Grand Canyon. Family photo released by the National Park Service

TREASURE ISLAND, FL (WFLA) – Hillsborough County teacher is missing in the Grand Canyon. Floyd Roberts disappeared after park officials said he split off from his hiking group.

Steph Riggs has been pacing for days, wondering if Roberts is okay.

“We’re on day four and we just don’t know. I don’t want closure, but you know what I mean, you just hold out hope. But not knowing or not having any information is the worst thing,” said Riggs.

Riggs spoke to Roberts just days before he left his Treasure Island home and headed to Arizona. He said Roberts, a Middleton High School teacher, was excited.

“He told me where he was going,” said Riggs. “He went a couple of years ago with his daughter and they did the trip. And he actually had a map on his wall and they had pin cushions of places they went.”

Riggs said Roberts got separated from his hiking group.

“He went with a friend of his and started on their voyage Friday and we found out Saturday around 3 p.m. that he had gone missing,” he said.

National Park Service crews are on a desperate search to find him. They said Roberts disappeared in the western portion of the park. Rescue groups have been searching by ground and in the air, with a helicopter.

Weather is also a factor. Temperatures are scorching. The National Weather Service issued an extensive heat warning.

Riggs said his friend is a survivor.

“If I had to guess, knowing Floyd, he had to be hurt or he would know to make it to water, he would know. He’s not the guy you want to put your money on not to come out of there,” he said.

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