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Search for missing Phoenix man continues; mental illness may be a factor

It’s been exactly four months since a Phoenix man went missing from Weaver’s Needle Vista in the Tonto National Forest.

It’s been exactly four months since a Phoenix man went missing from Weaver’s Needle Vista in the Tonto National Forest. 

Now his mother and community are looking for answers as to what happened to the 25-year-old.

“We have found absolutely no trace whatsoever,” says Khayman Welch’s mother Rhiannon Heide. 

On Aug. 12, Welch went to Weaver's Needle Vista Viewpoint off Route 88 to watch the sunset with his uncle.

It was a spur of the moment decision. Welch didn’t have water, food, or cellphone.

“He said to his uncle, 'I’d like to get a better view,'” recounted Heide. He’s been missing ever since.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride. There’s days I wake up hopeful. Which sometimes that changes within hours,” said Heide through tears.

Heide says he faced severe depression once the pandemic hit, and possibly had suicidal thoughts the day he went missing.

Welch is a tattoo artist in Phoenix. His community of family and friends have been searching the area for months. But his mom says he could be anywhere.

“Mental health is something people really need to take a little more serious,” says Heide.

The search for Khayman continues Sunday at 9 a.m. at Weaver’s Needle Vista. All are welcome.