SAR crews, helicopters searching for missing woman trail runner in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Department of Public Safety helicopter. File photo: Gephardt Daily
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COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah, July 5, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Multiple crews are searching for a Cottonwood Heights woman last heard from Thursday afternoon when she called her husband from a trail in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Detective Ken Hansen, Unified Police Department, confirmed the missing woman is 41-year-old Dawn Rohde.

Hansen, Unified Police Department, described Rohde as an experienced trail runner who came to the area at 7 a.m. Thursday. She called her husband at about 1 p.m. and told him she was in Maybird Gulch and was going over the ridge to Red Pine Canyon.

Her phone went dead at about 5 p.m. Thursday, Hansen said. As of 2 p.m. Friday, Hansen confirmed to Gephardt Daily that Rohde still had not bee found.

“In that amount of time, she hasn’t come back down, so we’re concerned that she’s maybe slipped in one of the snowfields or fallen somewhere,” Hansen said at a morning news conference.

“So right now we have three search and rescue crews up there and a DPS helicopter that will be helping us out, and we’re adding more search and rescue. We’ve got a pretty good idea what area she may be in, so that’s where we’re focusing the search right now.”

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Rohde’s family expected her back for a Fourth of July celebration, but her car is still parked in the canyon.

Because the area also borders Utah County, officials there have a fixed-wing airplane searching the area, Hansen said. It’s the Red Pines area that is the focus of the search, he said.

“It’s pretty steep, there’s still a lot of snow up there, that’s why they’re going to execute a search just of the snowfield, to see if she’s slipped into something that is difficult to see, so there’s going to do a very slow, kind of methodical search of that area… UPD has a drone coming up that will be doing some flying here, going up and down the canyons.”

Hansen said that in addition to the trained search team, each with four to five members and specialized equipment, about 25 of the woman’s friends also are searching.

Hansen said it’s unlikely the woman simply wandered off trail and became lost given her regular habit of trail running in the area.

“I think there’s a reason she’s not out, and maybe she’s stuck somewhere. She may have hunkered down,” after yesterday’s stormy weather, Hansen said, “but if that were true, she would have been out by now.”

Maybird Gulch is marked in red. Image: Google Maps

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