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BRIGHAM CITY, Utah, March 23, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The daughters of missing Brigham City woman Michelle Richan have mounted a massive effort to find their mother, who has not been seen since 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Richan, 47, was returning to Brigham City from Eureka, Nevada, where she had been visiting a friend.
Her roots run deep in Box Elder County, where she grew up in Corinne and attended Box Elder High School.
This is a mom who stays in close contact with her family.
Daughter Kaylee Vaughan told Gephardt Daily, “She didn’t suffer from any mental illness and wasn’t on any drugs or medication. If she was physically capable she would have found a way to communicate with us.”
Kaylee said her mom “has survival skills and carries at all times in her vehicle survival gear…. She would have fully charged her phone before she left because she was always prepared.”
The last activity on Richin’s phone was at 12:49 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Eureka County (Nev.) Sheriff’s Office.
Michelle Palmer, of Corner Canyon Investigations, is a friend of the family and has volunteered her services to help find Richan.
“We started out with a concentrated search in Eureka, but then a video was found that changed everything,” Palmer said. “The video showed her getting gas at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in Carlin (Nevada), so we’re concentrating our search efforts on I-80.”
Palmer said everyone is worried that something may have happened in the canyons in the Pequop area in eastern Elko County, Nevada, “so we’re asking anyone traveling on I-80 to keep their eyes peeled along the side of the road.”
Kaylee said the video is helpful because now they know that her mother made it to Carlin and was wearing a gray sweatshirt and blue jeans.
“People have been driving up all the roads in the area without finding anything,” Kaylee said, “so I don’t think she’s on any of the usual roads. It’s got to be something where she’s incapable of moving, because she’s always prepared for a flat tire or anything.”
“The area they were searching is the size of Rhode Island,” Kaylee said, explaining why an aerial search had not been conducted, but that will be changing soon.
Daughter Leslie Richan is currently in Nevada, where she has been organizing search parties and helping to coordinate activities with the Eureka County Sheriff’s Office.
She told Gephardt Daily that an aerial search is unofficially underway.
“The Elko County Sheriff’s Office has been searching for a woman who is missing from their area, so if they see anything at all, they will notify us,” Leslie said. She and others will be meeting up with Elko County Sheriff’s officials to exchange information and possibly coordinate an aerial search with them.
Richan filled her vehicle’s gas tank in Carlin, “so she could have made it into Utah,” Leslie said, but she thinks it’s more likely that her mother only got an hour or so out of Carlin.
“There are a coup-le of ravines in the area. She can survive at least a week with the survival gear in her car, so we want everyone to keep their eyes out and check the ravines and look around if they stop near any overlooks,” she said.
Family and friends
In addition to her children, Michelle Richan has four grandchildren — a baby about 6 months old, an 18-month-old and two 4-year-olds. Her daughter Kaylee is taking care of the kids while Leslie is in Nevada helping with the search.
Kaylee said she has heard from people who know her mom from the Sinclair station in Corinne, where Richan works.
“It’s amazing how many people know her and are hoping for her safe return,” Kaylee said.
Leslie, speaking from Nevada, said simply, “I can’t go home without her.”