Body suspected to be that of missing Montrose DJ

The body of a missing disc jockey from a Montrose radio station may have been found, authorities said Saturday.

The Montrose County Sheriff’s Department discovered a male body in the South Canal near Uncompahgre Road south of town.

A deputy discovered the body about 9:30 a.m. Saturday while patrolling the canal several miles downstream from where KBNG 103.7 FM radio station DJ Rick Steele’s white Ford Ranger was found abandoned July 2 along with his two dogs, which were unharmed.

A search has been on for him since.

“The body has not been identified at this time, but the circumstances surrounding the search for missing DJ Rick Steele are consistent with this case, pending autopsy results,” Sheriff Rick Dunlap said.

Steele, 48, was last seen July 1 between 7:30 and 8 p.m. along the canal near Miguel Road east of town.

Deputies and the Montrose County Sheriff’s Posse began a search using scent dogs and helicopters for several days afterwards, but found nothing. There were no other clues pointing to his whereabouts, department spokeswoman Kristin Scuderi said.

The Colorado National Guard even pitched in at one point, and so have volunteers from around town, including his co-workers at the pop music station and its two sister stations in town, KUBC 580 AM talk radio and KIX 94, which plays country music.

“It’s been, obviously, very somber because we clearly assume that it’s Rick as well,” said Janie Mayfield, news director for all three stations. “We’re looking for closure, but this isn’t the closure we were hoping for, obviously. It’s been tough. At this point, you hate to assume, but we do.”

Mayfield said neither she nor anyone else at the three stations knew of any family Steele had in town.

She said townsfolk have followed the story for the past two weeks through the stations, its Facebook page at CCR.Montrose and its website, http://www.ColoradoRadio.com.

“All of us at some point have gone out to the area to look around,” Mayfield said. “Where this body was found compared to where the truck was, was quite significant, it was quite a few miles. There never was an official search in the area where the body was found. It’s the canal that irrigates the whole valley, so it’s rushing, it’s full,” Mayfield said.


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