Official search for Utah hiker missing in Colorado to remain suspended

The search continues for Daniel Lamthach, a Salt Lake City man who went missing after telling friends he planned a hike in Colorado's San Juan County. Image: San Juan County (Colo.) Emergency Management; Google Maps

SAN JUAN COUNTY, Colorado, Aug. 2, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A small weekend search in Colorado’s San Juan County for a missing Utah hiker turned up no new clues.

Daniel LamThach, 22 and from Salt Lake City, was reported missing on July 17 after his car was found abandoned near a trailhead. He is believed to have left on a hike the day prior.

Searchers previously found his cell phone in the rugged, remote area, but no other signs of LamThach.

The search, by land and air, continued until last Wednesday, July 27, when it was temporarily suspended due to to flooding dangers.

Although the official search remains suspended, six members of Colorado’s San Juan County Search and Rescue group continued the search over the weekend.

The group “went into the 10-mile creek area to search for missing hiker Daniel LamThach,” says a statement issued Monday by the county’s Office of Emergency Management.

The team searched remote wilderness areas through Sunday, camping each night. On Monday, the full SAR team came out to search less treacherous areas.

“There were no signs of Daniel LamThach after an intense ground search by the SAR team,” the Emergency Management statement says.

The statement urges any volunteer searchers to steer clear of the 10-mile creek drainage to Balsam Lake.

“All areas that have been searched over the past 12 days are extremely dangerous, mostly off trail and the risk of an individual getting injured is high. If someone gets into trouble out there, a rescue effort would be long and arduous.”

Limited resources

Cameron Crowell, Silverton Medical Rescue, said the search so far has been thorough and expensive.

“The heavy use of resources in the initial stages of this search operation are valuable to all of Southwest Colorado,” Crowell said in a released statement.

“At this time, we will no longer be utilizing these resources in order to keep them available for our neighboring communities. If more information or clues are found in connection with Daniel, we will certainly activate those resources again.”

Melissa Flynn of Silverton Medical Rescue said cutting back the search is emotionally difficult.

“Not being able to find a missing person is really hard to deal with emotionally, physically and mentally as a rescuer. Our team has put in the energy to extensively search and follow up on all the possible leads we’ve received, and we have also searched areas with even a remote possibility that Daniel could be there.

“Although official search operations have been suspended, our team members will always be looking for Daniel.

“My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Daniel LamThach.”


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