Bodies ID’d as missing hikers from Minnesota
IDAHO SPRINGS — The bodies of two people found on Colorado’s Mount Evans are that of a father and son missing since going for a hike in April, authorities confirmed Friday.
The bodies of Damian and Evan McManus of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, were found Thursday by local volunteers, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office said.
They were last heard from April 2 after telling a friend they were going to scale a peak. They were reported missing on April 6, when the search began.
Dozens of searchers, including some visiting firefighters from the Minneapolis area this week, have spent thousands of hours looking for them.
Capt. Bruce Snelling said that a group of local hikers who have been volunteering to search several days a week for the McManuses found one body just before noon Thursday. The group is called Team McManus and includes a longtime friend of Damian McManus. The Alpine Rescue and Rocky Mountain Rescue teams, who were also in the field searching, responded to the area and found the second body.
Four firefighters from Edina, St. Louis Park and Eden Park, Minnesota had also been searching the area, about 40 miles southwest of Denver, since Tuesday.
The search was difficult because the men’s exact route wasn’t known. Their car was found at the Echo Lake Campground but there are several trails nearby. Heavy snow also fell after they disappeared, obscuring any footprints.
Searchers initially worked in up to 3 feet of snow and the threat of avalanches initially prevented searchers from going into some areas.
The initial large-scale search lasted for four days and crews later returned to the area for smaller searches. The local search team, the Alpine Rescue Team, has spent a combined 5,000 hours searching for the men, spokesman Bill Barwick said.
Mount Evans is 14,250 feet high and has one of the highest paved roads in North America. The road closes at the end of summer, when weather conditions can quickly become treacherous.