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A California professor, who was recently charged with felony domestic violence, was reported missing after he went hiking in Washington and never returned.
Hunter Fraser, a Professor of Biology at Stanford University, was scheduled to appear in a California court on June 9 for a preliminary hearing in a criminal case where he is facing a felony domestic violence charge, KRON4 reported.
On July 4, 2022, Fraser allegedly threw his girlfriend to the floor and slammed a door on her chest while he played with their daughter, the outlet reported.
An officer observed a “large swath of redness with the imprint of a door handle on [the woman’s] skin,” according to a police report according to the Stanford Daily.
The woman allegedly suffered two fractured ribs.
Fraser, 44, was initially charged with a misdemeanor following his arrest last September, but the charges were raised to a felony when the District Attorney’s office obtained evidence of the woman’s injuries.
He went on a 2-day, 40-mile hiking trip in Washington’s Olympic National Park on June 5 and was reported missing when park rangers notified the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office of an overdue hiker on June 7.
Police described Fraser as an “extremely skilled solo hiker” and started a search where he parked his car at the Deer Ridge Trailhead, which is considered a difficult hike, the Washington Trails Association said.
The exact route the professor took is unknown, making it difficult for rescue teams.
Fraser was last heard from on Tuesday morning when he sent a text to his family.
Several search and rescue teams from the park and local police departments, including dogs, were sent out around the area but the National Park Service mentioned the “high country of Olympic National Park is still very much covered in snow.”
Fraser has denied all the allegations against him, saying he never faced such accusations.
“While I am prevented from going into details here while the case is pending, I do want you to know that the allegations against me are untrue,” Fraser wrote in an email, obtained by The Standford Daily, to his lab the Fraser Laboratory. “At no point in my career or in my personal life has anyone ever made such an accusation or allegation against me before. This has all been incredibly jarring.”
Fraser said current affairs make it hard for people to believe him and that they should wait for the court process to end before judging him.
“In our current cultural moment, I realize that my words may stir skepticism, but they are the truth,” he added, “allow the process to be fully completed before reaching any conclusions.”
Fraser’s sister Whitney provided updates including certain areas of interest in the search, asking for people with any information to call the sheriff’s dispatch.
Another court date is scheduled for June 28, court records viewed by The Post said.