Crews search for missing New Castle woman, 54

Two aircraft crews and about a dozen ground personnel searching Tuesday were unable to find a missing New Castle woman whose vehicle was found Monday at a popular trailhead near Goblin Valley State Park in Utah.

An Emery County, Utah, road department employee spotted the vehicle of Rosalie Backhaus, 54, at the trailhead for the Little Wild Horse and Bell canyons, and a search of the area began Monday. The area is about five miles west of Goblin Valley State Park, southwest of Green River.

Backhaus was last seen Nov. 16 when she checked out of a hotel in Moab, where she had been hiking for the weekend. She is described as an experienced hiker. She had been scheduled to return to work the following morning at Copy Copy in Glenwood Springs.

The parking lot where her vehicle was found provides access to an eight-mile loop hike connecting the two canyons, which feature several narrows sections that can be hiked without the need for climbing gear.

“There’s several different areas we’re looking in — the most popular trails and then some of the other areas that are a possibility,” said Sgt. Bliss Mead of the Emery County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities found no note in Backhaus’ car or other indication of her hiking plans, he said.

Searchers on Tuesday used a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter and a privately owned airplane. Also involved are sheriff’s deputies and search and rescue personnel, and the state Division of Parks and Recreation.

Nighttime temperatures in the area have been falling below freezing.


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