Volunteer search for Mill Valley woman continues on Mt. Tam 

Volunteers searching for 25-year-old Veronica "Nikki" Ruiz will continue to leave everyday at daybreak to comb Mt. Tamalpais, where Ruiz was likely hiking when she disappeared eight days ago, Veronica Ruiz' sister Maricris Ruiz said today.

Family, friends, and volunteers have searched since Veronica Ruiz was reported missing, at about 10 p.m. Dec. 3, and will continue their efforts until she is found, Maricris Ruiz said. Searchers today left at daybreak and are covering the side of Mt. Tamalpais toward the coast and Stinson Beach, Maricris Ruiz said.

"We're just going to keep on going until we find her," she said.

Veronica Ruiz, reportedly upset about her breakup with a live-in boyfriend, was last heard from at about noon when she told a friend that she was on a hike. Her car was found parked in front of her home in downtown Mill Valley, police reported.

Extensive police search-and-rescue efforts covering the mountain were indefinitely suspended Wednesday evening pending new leads in the case, according to the Mill Valley Police Department.

Maricris Ruiz, who is nine years older than her sister, said that volunteer searchers, some of which are complete strangers, have turned out in large numbers, especially during the search over the weekend.

Searchers have also been in contact with the Police Department and police will be notified when new leads develop, Maricris Ruiz said.

Maricris Ruiz said that her sister loves the outdoors and is a marathon runner who also enjoys playing volleyball and soccer.

Veronica Ruiz moved to Mill Valley about six months prior to her disappearance with her boyfriend, who has family in the area.

The sisters grew up in Daly City and both attended El Camino High School, Maricris Ruiz said.

Veronica Ruiz attended college at the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied finance, according to her sister.

When she disappeared Veronica Ruiz was employed as a special agent for the Internal Revenue Service and had previously worked as an auditor.

Searchers who would like to volunteer to help find Veronica Ruiz are asked to print out search fliers from the Web site www.helpfindveronicaruiz.com and contact organizers for information.

Information for search volunteers and for those who would like to donate to a search fund started for Veronica Ruiz can also be found on the Web site.

Police are encouraging anyone with information on Ruiz's whereabouts to contact Detective Sgt. Dean Loutas at (415) 389-4100.

Veronica Ruiz is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, 120 pounds, with dark brown hair and brown eyes, a light brown complexion and a scar on her right abdomen.

Her family said she was possibly wearing white trail running shoes, black running Capri pants, a black fleece vest, and carrying a gray and orange Camelback water supply backpack and a black iPod on her wrist.

Bay City News

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