Bayfield man looks for father

Area resident missing since Friday

David Ritchie Enlarge photo

David Ritchie

A man is seeking help from the public in finding his father after he wondered off into the San Juan National Forest about 9:30 a.m. Friday.

David Ritchie was recently placed on medication for depression and insomnia, and his son, Daniel Ritchie, believes he is having a reaction to the medicine.

“He’s never done anything like this before. He’s just really confused and having some very delusional thoughts,” Daniel Ritchie said. “He thinks the police are after him, and he will be arrested.”

David Ritchie was last seen at the Archuleta-La Plata County line heading north into the national forest near Beaver Meadows, about quarter of mile east of Beaver Meadows Road, said family friend, Liz Anderson of Bayfield.

David Ritchie used to live in Bayfield, and his family believes he is trying to go to Bayfield or Pagosa Springs.

He is 5 feet 7 inches tall, 160 pounds and has a goatee. He was wearing glasses; a green baseball cap; a green, long-sleeved T-shirt that was torn in the front; khaki shorts and tennis shoes.

He is neither armed nor dangerous, Daniel Ritchie said.

Initially, law enforcement told the family it could not assist in a search because David Ritchie had not committed a crime and was exercising his free will, Daniel Ritchie said.

However, Anderson said Archuleta County Search and Rescue began assisting the search on Sunday. About 10 volunteers from the agency – some on horseback, some on all-terrain vehicles and some on foot – were helping about 50 other volunteers who had been searching since Friday.

As of 7 p.m. Sunday, Anderson said David Ritchie had not been found, and the search will continue today.

Anyone with information should call (970) 884-5280.

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