Nonprofit group lends hand in search for missing GJ men

A Grand Junction-based nonprofit group is helping search today for two missing Grand Junction men who were last seen in eastern Utah last weekend.

Volunteers with the Abby and Jennifer Recovery Foundation drove to Price, Utah, this morning to help organize ground crews in the search for Mark Widegren and Brian Axe.

Family members say the two men were last seen leaving a bar in Price around 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Widegren and Axe, who are employed with Rangely-based pipeline construction company W.C. Striegel Inc., were laying pipe in Nine Mile Canyon northeast of Price. The town is about a 2 1/2-hour drive from Grand Junction.

W.C. Striegel officials have said they believe the men were heading to Las Vegas, Nev., and didn’t return to work Monday morning.

Connie Flukey, executive director of the Abby and Jennifer Recovery Foundation, told The Daily Sentinel this morning that relatives of the missing men asked the foundation Wednesday night to assist in the search. She said roughly 25 volunteers, in conjunction with the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, are searching in town and putting up missing-person posters.

“It’s kind of a scary situation,” she said.

Flukey said the Sheriff’s Office hopes to get a helicopter in the air sometime today. Plans to launch a plane today have been scuttled thus far due to poor weather, she said.

Carbon County Sheriff James Cordova couldn’t immediately be reached for comment this morning.

Flukey said she believes the group has enough volunteer searchers to work today and Friday, but that if those efforts turn up nothing, additional help may be needed. She said the group could use financial assistance to help pay for motel rooms, meals and other things if the search stretches out over several days.

Anyone interested in helping with the search or providing financial assistance can call Flukey at (970) 260-1821.

Check back with GJSentinel.com later in the day for updates and read the full story in Friday’s Daily Sentinel.



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