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Missing Man: Matthew B. Greene - CA - 07/16/2013

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Bethlehem man missing near California mountain town, police say

By Tony Rhodin | The Express-Times
on August 01, 2013 at 1:52 PM, updated August 01, 2013 at 3:19 PM

A 39-year-old Bethlehem outdoor adventurer who teaches math in the Nazareth Area School District has been missing for two weeks near a California resort town that is surrounded by mountains.

Matthew B. Greene, of the 200 block of Eighth Avenue, was last in contact with family July 16, the Mammoth Lakes Police Department said this morning on its Facebook page. He was staying at the Shady Rest Campground while his vehicle was being repaired at a local shop, police said. He has not returned to the campground, where he paid through July 17, or picked up his car, police said.

He is an avid hiker, rock and ice climber, friends and family told police. He arrived about June 27 in Mammoth Lakes "to hike, camp, and conquer peaks in the Eastern Sierra," police said. He was traveling with a friend and they climbed some peaks near Mammoth Lakes, Detective Doug Hornbeck said. But the friend moved on to their next stop when Greene's car broke down July 6, Hornbeck said.

Police received a missing persons report Monday after the friend's wife contacted authorities, concerned when she couldn't contact Greene. The Mono County Search and Rescue Team has been advised, police said. But without a location, the team cannot begin a search, police said.

He may have gotten a ride from someone to a remote area to hike or climb, police said. There is still one person out on the trail who is currently out of contact but police know spoke with Greene prior to his disappearance, Hornbeck said. They are hoping when that person returns he can provide some clue where Greene entered the back country.

Police are hoping anyone who saw or heard from Greene contacts the Mono County Sheriff’s Office at 760-932-6549 X7. Greene's friends are getting out a similar message on social media, Hornbeck said.

Greene's mother, Patricia, said this afternoon she is sitting by the phone and praying at her home in Franklin Township in Carbon County.

Matthew Greene, a teacher at Nazareth Area High School, is an outdoorsman who developed good survival skills during three years in the Peace Corps in Paupua New Guinea, his mother said.

Each year since he's returned from the south seas, he's taken a summer jaunt to hike, climb and mountain bike, often in the West, she said.

She last spoke to him July 16, but, while on these trips, he didn't check in very often, she said.

"It's not like I heard from him every week," she said, describing her son as a loner who loved being in the wild.

"He just kind of liked to do his own thing," she said, adding that he lives by himself in Bethlehem.

Hornbeck said Greene would often go off on a hike and not return phone or other messages until he emerged a week or so later.

In recent days, Patricia Greene tried to call her son, but his phone went straight to voicemail, she said. She was about to call police when the phone rang. It was Mammoth Lakes authorities seeking information from her.

Greene is a graduate of Lehighton High School who spent a year at Clemson University before transferring to Penn State University's Hazleton campus and finishing his final two years at the main campus in University Park, Pa., his mother said. He's run the Boston Marathon and raced in numerous other places, but when it comes to outdoor athletic activities, "He does it all," she said. "... He's just an outdoors guy."

Even though he enjoys open spaces, he is equally at home in the Lehigh Valley, she said.

"He's a nice guy," his mother said. "He's very understanding of people. A good teacher. Everybody liked him."

As to whether he could survive for two weeks in the wild, his mother paused for a moment on the phone.

"It's possible, It's just that it's so long. No matter how good you are, no one is invincible," she said, pointing to the likelihood of an accident or an encounter with wild animals.

Mammoth Mountain "looms over the town" from the west, according to the town's Wikipedia page. The Sherwin Range "dominates the view" from the south, the page said. The town of more than 8,000 is more than 7,880 feet above sea level and is popular for its range of recreational activities, according to a visitors' guide.

Hornbeck said that Greene is an experienced hiker and climber who did his research and would have understood the local terrain.

The search and rescue team is "outstanding," Hornbeck said. But without a starting point, there's no way to start a search, he said.

There were three days of bad weather in the middle of July and there were flash floods in the remote mountain valleys, which in the past have cost hikers their lives, he said. There was also hail, thunder and lightning, but overnight temperatures don't drop low enough at this time of year to make exposure a risk for an experienced hiker, he said.

"You can be in the back country here and the weather can change overnight," he said of the flooding risk.

The biggest problem right now is a fire about 25 miles away with smoke so thick it has been blocking the mountain view.

People have gone lost in the mountains and, if they get caught up in a flash flood, their bodies sometimes aren't found for weeks, months or even years, he said.

But for now, authorities, much like Patricia Greene, can only wait. The word is out, Hornbeck said, but "we haven't heard anything yet."

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Fundraiser planned this weekend for missing Nazareth teacher
Pamela Sroka-Holzmann | The Express-Times By Pamela Sroka-Holzmann | The Express-Times
on August 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM, updated August 14, 2013 at 5:55 PM

A breakfast fundraiser is being planned this weekend to help aid efforts in finding missing Nazareth Area School District teacher Matthew Greene.

The pancake fundraiser will run from 8 to 10 a.m. Aug. 18. It's being held at Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, 3730 Nazareth Pike, Bethlehem Township and Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, 2109 Motel Drive, Bethlehem.

Tickets cost $6 per person and $4 for children under age 10. All proceeds will help those searching for Greene, of Bethlehem, who was reported missing July 29 after he did not meet up with friends as planned.

Greene, who often goes off on wilderness trips in the summer, arrived in late June in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. He had been hiking and climbing with a friend when his car broke down in early July. The friend moved on to the next scheduled spot on the trip. But Greene stayed at a local campground waiting for his car. His mother, Patricia, last heard from him July 16.

Friends have created a Facebook page dedicated to providing information on the adventurer.

Monetary donations also can be made payable to "Find Matthew Greene" and mailed to: PO Box 315, Northampton, PA 18067.

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$3,600 raised Sunday to help find missing Nazareth area teacher/hiker

August 19, 2013

A breakfast fundraiser held Sunday, August 18, raised a total of $3,600 to support the efforts in finding missing hiker and Nazareth Area School District teacher, Matthew Greene, reported the Find Matthew Greene Facebook Page Sunday evening. The event, a pancake fundraiser, was held at two Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar locations in Bethlehem and Bethlehem Township.

Matthew Greene, 39, a math teacher at Nazareth Area High School, was reported missing from the Mammoth Lakes area on July 17, where he was hiking and climbing with friends. Green, an accomplished hiker, was last heard from on July 16. The Facebook Page set up to share details about the search states,

Matt was hiking/climbing with some friends in the Mammoth Lakes region and staying at the Shady Rest campground, [and] prior to his disappearance he happened upon some car trouble (his Subaru blew a head gasket),"the Facebook post says.

Matt stayed behind while his car was repaired at the Norco Goodyear repair shop with plans to meet up with friends in CO down the line," the post reports, adding, "His last known phone call was to the repair shop around 4:30 pm on July 16th, with some texts to said friend around 8-8:30 that same night."

Additionally," the post states, "his last use of credit cards was a purchase in mammoth lakes that same day.

When Greene failed to meet up with his friends, they discovered that his car had been repaired and waiting for over a week. When they realized that Greene had not returned for his gear at the campsite he had rented, his friends contacted the police, who in turn contacted the family. The last signal from Matthew Greene’s cell phone, the Facebook page says, was traced to a cell phone tower on Mammoth Mountain, pointed north in the direction of the main ski area.

A group of hikers traveled from the Lehigh Valley on August 10 to search for Greene, who at that point had been missing for three weeks. The group has since returned with no news, according to a Sunday evening Facebook post, but efforts are still underway in the Mammoth Lakes area to uncover information, with locals and hikers in the back country aware of Matt’s story.

Greene’s sister, Tiffany Minto, told NBC that it’s been agonizing not knowing Greene’s whereabouts or what may have happened to him.

y heart's really confused right now. It's telling me I should be hopeful…that if anyone can survive it, it would be Matt. So much time has gone by that it's hard to be hopeful," Minto told NBC, adding that she is grateful for the support from her brother’s friends.

To be honest," she added, "they're kind of like my last string of hope. And it kind of brings me a peace of mind knowing that at least they gave it their best and the best went out there looking for him.

Family and friends are relying on social media to help spread the word about Matthew Greene’s disappearance, with regular updates posted to the Find Matthew Greene Facebook page, which had 8,727 likes as of Sunday evening.

Donations to help in the search efforts can be made online at the Help Us Find Matthew Greene FundRazr page launched on August 7 by Greene’s sister, Tiffany Minto, who posted this plea,

   We need leads and time is of the essence.

Donations made will be used towards [search and Rescue] efforts, travel aid for those going to the site of Matt's disappearance, and in the long term medical or other arrangements when Matt is found.

As of Sunday evening, a $6,681 has been raised by the site.

Anyone with information about Matthew Green, who is approximately 5’11”, 160 lb with blondish-brown short hair and blue eyes, according to an online poster, should call Detective Dough Hombeck at (760) 932-7549 x 17 or the Mammoth Lakes Police at (760) 934-2536.


Additional Information:

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Matthew B. Greene scholarship established

Search for missing Lehighton grad will resume in spring


Friday, November 29, 2013

By STACEY SOLT TN Correspondent


The cool autumn weather in area is weighing heavy on one local family's hearts. Cooler weather means that it is now winter in Mammoth, Calif., and the search for missing Lehighton graduate Matt Greene has ended for the season. Searching will resume in the spring.


Greene, 39, of Bethlehem, was reported missing from the Mammoth Lakes area on July 29, 2013. He arrived in Mammoth Lakes with friends in June to hike, camp, and climb. When it was time for the group to travel to their next location, Greene stayed in the area while waiting for his car to be repaired. He did not return to the campground they were staying at or retrieve his car from the repair shop.


The parents of Matthew Greene, Patricia and Robert Greene, have established an educational scholarship in their son's name at Nazareth Area High School, where Greene is a math teacher. He greatly enjoyed the outdoors and typically spent the school's summer break traveling.


The Matthew B. Greene Educational Scholarship was approved by the Nazareth Area School Board in late October. It will provide a $500 scholarship for graduating seniors for the next 10 years.


"A scholarship seemed the best way to honor Matt, a way to incorporate his passions of teaching, athletics and the outdoors and turn this tragedy into something positive," said Tiffany Minto, Greene's younger sister.


Since the summer, hundreds of search and rescue volunteers have searched the greater Mammoth Lakes area, looking for clues that might lead to Greene's whereabouts.


The family has since gained access to new information, including additional cell phone records and local library logs, but "they did not contain any clues to help distinguish where Matt might have gone or what his plans were prior to his disappearance," she said. "The library records seemed to indicate that rather than planning a big hike, he was just passing time and looking forward to getting his car back so he could head to the next leg of his summer journey."


Family members hope that search efforts will resume in spring. Because they are not experienced climbers, the family is depending mainly on volunteers to physically search targeted areas and replenish flyers with Greene's information.


"While we are anxious, we also want to be sure that no one puts themselves in danger for our cause,"Minto said. "The most beneficial thing I can foresee is to keep spreading the word and sharing the Facebook page. For all we know there's still someone out there somewhere that has information that could help."


Minto continues to post updates at To date, more than 12,000 people have liked the Facebook page, sharing details, memories and prayers and spreading the word about his disappearance.


The family is also accepting donations towards search efforts and Greene's bills. Donations can be sent to Find Matt Greene, c/o Tiffany Minto, PO Box 315, Northampton, PA 18067.


Greene is described as a 39-year-old white male, 5 feet 11 inches, approximately 155 pounds, with brownish-blond short hair and light blue eyes.


Anyone with information about Greene, or who may have spoken to Greene, is asked to contact the Mammoth Lakes police department at (760) 934-2011.

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