CHINA — Deteriorating weather conditions early Saturday evening prompted authorities to suspend its daylong search for a missing 18-year-old snowmobiler last seen riding home Friday night.

“We’re concerned about the safety of those who are aiding in this search,” Maine Warden Service Major Gregory Sanborn said early Saturday evening said after the agency suspended the search for Richard Jackson, a junior at Erskine Academy.

It was not known if Jackson got lost taking a snowmobile trail or if he had been crossing China Lake.

After being notified at 6 a.m. Saturday that Jackson had failed to return home, state police, wardens, local authorities and snowmobile club members began searching for him. He was last seen between 8 and 9 p.m. Friday in the China Lake area.

The search was expected to resume Sunday morning.

After having work done on his black Yamaha Exciter snowmobile at Pinkham Fuel, Jackson was riding the sled home, according to a report issued at noon Saturday by the warden service.

State police in Augusta are asking anyone who may have seen Jackson after 9 p.m. on Friday to contact them at 624-7076.

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