Search efforts to continue for missing Buena Vista man

Police expanding search for 30-year-old Chad Austin

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BUENA VISTA, Va. – The Buena Vista Police Department will expand its search efforts Saturday for a missing 30-year-old who was last seen Memorial Day. 

Saturday's extensive search for Chad Austin will take place near the Panther Falls area along Route 60 in Amherst County, according to the Buena Vista Police Department. 

Authorities say due to the difficult, and in many places dangerous, terrain of the concentrated search area, only law enforcement and specially-trained search and rescue teams are involved in Saturday's search efforts. 

Austin was last seen by campers in the Panther Falls area, east of the Blue Ridge Parkway. He was last seen wearing a gray tank top with long shorts, possible beige in color.

He is 6 feet tall, weighs 150-170 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Assisting police in the new search are Virginia State Police and the members of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Austin was reported missing after his car was found around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in Amherst County, abandoned about 2 miles down the turnoff for Panther Falls Road, according to state police.

His dog named Gunner was locked inside the car. 

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