The father of the Huntington Beach man who went missing in New Mexico died Wednesday while involved with the search for his son, Sgt. Emmanuel Gutierrez of the New Mexico State Police said.

Gutierrez said it appears Ray Lockhart, 70, of Huntington Beach died of natural causes as he was "feeling ill" and returned to the search and rescue base camp. The incident began at 11:55 a.m, and Gutierrez was unsure if Lockhart had been actively participating in the search.

"EMS did work on him for a lengthy amount of time and were unable to revive him," Gutierrez said.

Search and rescue workers on scene attended to Lockhart and paramedics were called. Lockhart died at the camp, Gutierrez said.

Steve Lockhart, 43, went missing on Sunday after being separated from his hunting party in Pueblo Creek Campground in New Mexico's Gila National Forest.

Gutierrez said the search for Steve Lockhart was suspended Wednesday at 6 p.m. due to "strong evidence" he made it to a road and possibly hitchhiked out.

Searchers found tracks leading to Highway 180 and a "seasoned tracker" confirmed the tracks to be Lockhart's, he said.

Gutierrez said authorities are conducting follow-up work, but Lockhart has not been located.

—Beau Nicolette and Jeremiah Dobruck