Search for hiker stays in 2 Utah canyons

Armed with new clues on what she may have been wearing, searchers Friday resumed their efforts along a popular Utah trail where a New Castle woman disappeared Nov. 16.

Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon said four searchers began a slow, methodical retracing of Little Wild Horse and Bell canyons in search of Rose Backhaus, 54. After taking a day off Thursday to regroup, searchers resumed their focus on two canyons that they have scoured on the ground and from the air, and with the help of dogs and
rappelling teams, since Nov. 24.

That’s when Backhaus’ vehicle was found at the trailhead for the loop trail for the two canyons, located southwest of Green River. The avid hiker headed to the trailhead from Moab the morning of Nov. 16, and two hikers have since told authorities they saw her head up the trail.

Guymon said previous information provided to authorities suggested Backhaus may have had a lime green jacket with her. But detectives who traveled to Colorado to interview family and friends this week found the jacket in Backhaus’ closet. They now think she more likely was wearing a light-brown, imitation suede jacket.

Guymon also said it turns out a glove found in an area where lip balm and a single footprint also were discovered had been lost by a searcher. They also haven’t been able to link the lip balm or footprint to Backhaus.

Interviews with those who know Backhaus leave investigators still assuming she got lost or became injured along the trail, and it’s not a case of her not being in the area, Guymon said.

He said Friday’s search results would help dictate search plans for this weekend — three weeks since Backhaus disappeared.

“At some point we’re going to have to start winding this back a little,” he said.

As for Backhaus’ fate, “You always hope, but you’ve got to face reality at some point — this kind of weather and if she is out there in this kind of weather for that long,” Guymon said. “I would think that probably hypothermia doesn’t take that long.”


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Search More Jobs

734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Subscribe to print edition
eTear Sheets/ePayments

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy