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Paul Miller's church community in Guelph still hopeful for his safe return

The Guelph man has been missing for six days in a southern California desert
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Paul Miller

Although the search for a Guelph man who went missing without a trace in a southern California desert has been scaled back, those who know him haven't given up hope.

Officials at Joshua Tree National Park say efforts to find Paul Miller will continue, but with limited resources and manpower.

Miller was reported missing by his wife Stephanie on Friday morning, when he didn't return from a hike on a popular trail at Joshua Tree National Park.

What's followed has been five days of intensive efforts to locate the 51-year-old, including six canine teams, a helicopter, ATVs and as many as 90 people on the ground. But searchers have found no sign of Miller - not even footprints.

Still, friends of the Miller family say they're praying for a happy outcome.

Jeff Groenewald is senior leader at Guelph's Lakeside Church, which he says the Miller's have attended for more than 15 years. 

"We're as shocked as anybody else at what happened on their recent trip to California," says Groenewald. "We continue to pray for searchers to find Paul, wherever he may be. He is somewhere."

Groenewald says Stephanie has returned to Guelph, and that the church community stands ready to help her and the couple's children during this difficult time.

"Can we bring meals over, can there be people that will come sit with you and just spend time together with you ... All of that would be the kind of supports that we'd be able to offer," he says. "We will just come alongside that family to support them."

Park officials say there have been five missing person cases so far this year, and all have been found and reunited with their families. Groenewald says the parish remains hopeful Miller's story will end in the same way.



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