Former LA sheriff's deputy goes missing during hike on Greek island

A search and rescue operation is underway for a 59-year-old American who was reported missing Tuesday after failing to return from a hike on a Greek island.

Albert Calibet, a former Los Angeles Sheriff's Department deputy, failed to return from a hike on the Greek island Amorgos amid extreme heat, with temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. He was hiking from Aegiali toward Katapola, which takes roughly four hours.

Calibet reportedly began his hike at 7 a.m. local time on Tuesday and was last seen at 11 a.m. by walkers he met with on a trail, according to Hellenic Police.

PHOTO: View of Amorgos Island in Greece. (STOCK PHOTO/Adobe Stock)
PHOTO: View of Amorgos Island in Greece. (STOCK PHOTO/Adobe Stock)

A woman who runs a small refreshment stand told police she saw him around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, supplying him with water and refreshments.

He was due to meet with a friend between noon and 1 p.m. at the end of a trail, but Calibet never made it to the meetup point, Hellenic Police said.

The friend tried calling Calibet on his phone, but there was no answer, so the friend reported him missing to local authorities.

Calibet has reportedly visited the island many times and knows the trail and area very well.

MORE: Earliest-ever heat wave in Greece closes Acropolis and public schools

A Hellenic Fire Department helicopter and a drone are aiding in an aerial search for Calibet in ravines and areas that are not walkable, while rescue teams have already walked the trail twice, according to police.

Locals who know the rugged terrain well, including shepherds, are all involved. The search was described as "extensive," with the operation shifting focus beyond the trail now that it has been thoroughly checked, Kalliopi Despotidl, the deputy mayor of Amogros island, told ABC News.

Landscape varies around the trail where Calibet went missing, with some rocky cliffs and gorges, according to Despotidl.

"The terrain is not flat. The trail from Aegiali to Katapola is marked and well-trodden. But he might have gone off the marked area, and that is why they have expanded their search," Despotidl said.

The deputy mayor also said Calibet is well known on the island, saying she's seen him coming to Amorgos for at least 10 years. He's a regular visitor and loves hiking. "He knows the paths better than me," she said.

PHOTO: Eric Albert Calibet is seen in this undated image. (Municipality of Amorgos)
PHOTO: Eric Albert Calibet is seen in this undated image. (Municipality of Amorgos)

Calibet joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in 1998 and has continued to be a part-time employee since he retired in 2018, according to the department.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Deputy Calibet's family and friends and our hope is that we can bring him home safely," said Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna. "We are actively collaborating with multiple agencies abroad to provide assistance in the search for Deputy Calibet and will use every resource we have available to bring him back to those who love him."

The brother of the missing American, Oliver Calibet, and the missing American's girlfriend, Debbie LaShane, arrived in Greece on Friday to help in the search and rescue efforts for Albert Calibet.

LaShane and Albert Calibet talked on the phone just before he set out on his trek Tuesday morning, LaShane told ABC News.

"He called me right before he was leaving for the hike. ... It was 7:07 [a.m.] in Greece, and then we spoke six minutes, and then he sent me a picture at 9:20 [a.m.] at the trail head with the sign. And we have not spoken since," LaShane said.

It's been "excruciating; awful. Walking around in a daze, sick to our stomachs knowing that he's out there somewhere," LaShane said.

"Time is of the essence because it's on the fourth day, so it's not good. But, we're very positive," Oliver Calibet said.

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