Update: Brigham City police now lead investigation as search for Michelle Richan expands

This photo from surveillance video shows Michelle Richan when she stopped to buy gas on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. Screen shot courtesy of Michelle Palmer, Corner Canyon Investigations

For an updated story, click here.

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah, March 26, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The search for missing Brigham City woman Michelle Richan is now a joint effort between the Brigham City Police Department and the Elko, Nevada, Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Tony Ferderber, Brigham City PD, told Gephardt Daily that Box Elder County Search and Rescue is involved in the effort to find the 47-year-old woman who left Eureka, Nevada, early Tuesday, March 19, and failed to arrive home.

Ferderber said Box Elder has not yet conducted an aerial search, but “an individual who has an aircraft has flown as far as Wells, Nevada, looking for any sign of the woman.”

A second private pilot also is assisting in the search, according to Michelle Palmer, of Corner Canyon Investigations. Palmer is a friend of the family and is volunteering her services to help find Richan.

It’s now known that Richan stopped for gas in Carlin, Nevada, and again, at 12:30 p.m. March 19, in Wells.

The last activity on Richan’s phone was at 12:49 p.m. March 19, according to the Eureka County (Nev.) Sheriff’s Office.

Palmer said there was a possible sighting of Richan’s tan/beige 2000 GMC Jimmy in Montello, Nevada, which is about an hour’s drive east of Wells.

Richan’s daughter Lezley Richan has been in Nevada, working with volunteers who are combing the route the missing woman likely took as she headed toward Utah.

And Lezley, along with investigator Palmer, has been communicating with authorities in both states, sharing and exchanging every shred of information that might lead to finding Richan.

Brigham City’s Lt. Ferderber said he understands there are at least “150 volunteers out looking for her at any given time.”

A Facebook Fundraiser set up on Monday by a family friend to “go to help feed and fuel searchers to keep looking for (Michelle Richan) and her safe return,” had raised $860 as of Monday night. Richan’s daughter Kaylee Vaughan also has the link on her Facebook page.

Everyone involved in the search is hoping that people traveling along Interstate 80 between Wells and Box Elder County will keep on the lookout for anything unusual.

Richan had survival gear in her vehicle, and her family says she is always prepared for any mishap when she’s on the road, but if there was an accident, her vehicle may be partially hidden in a ravine or somewhere else visible only from a roadside overlook.

Anyone who has any information that could help in finding Michelle Richan is asked to call Brigham City Police non-emergency dispatch at 435-723-5227 or Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office at 435-734-3800.


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