Mexican officials expand search in Copper Canyon for missing Mooresville teacher

Mexicans expand search in Copper Canyon for missing Iredell Co. teacher

MEXICO CITY — More than 100 police officers have fanned out in the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua to search for a missing American hiker.

Patrick Braxton-Andrew, a 34-year-old Spanish teacher from North Carolina, was last seen six days ago, last Sunday, by personnel at a hotel he was staying at in Urique, a former mining village at the base of one of the many canyons that make up the Copper Canyon National Park.

Braxton-Andrew, a graduate of Davidson College, is an eighth-grade teacher at Woodlawn School in Mooresville.

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Mexican authorities said more than 100 police officers searched through the canyons Saturday.

The Chihuahua state prosecutors' office shared pictures of police and volunteers on Saturday searching for the missing hiker along rocky paths and steep gorges.

The picturesque network of canyons is also plagued by violent conflicts over illegal logging, which locals accuse of being fronts for money laundering by Mexican drug cartels.

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