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Man remains missing for second day north of Durango

Search and rescue to resume efforts Wednesday

A 33-year-old man remained missing for a second day Tuesday in the backcountry north of Durango.

The man, believed to be from Durango, was last reported to be on a dirt bike in the south Hermosa Creek area, according to the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office. The man was described as blonde and about 6 feet tall. No clothing description or further identifying information was available Tuesday.

Search and rescue efforts will continue Wednesday, said Ron Corkish, president of La Plata County Search and Rescue. Corkish said he is “100%” confident the efforts will be successful.

“There’s water; it’s not freezing. People get lost. They’re out for multiple days, and we have very successful recoveries,” Corkish said.

First responders received the initial call around 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Search teams scoured the high-probability areas in the Hermosa Creek drainage area north of Durango on Tuesday. The areas were identified through cellphone forensics and Colorado Bureau of Information profile information, Corkish said.

About 30 people were involved in the search. Helicopter crews and a Colorado multi-mission aircraft, outfitted with infrared and color sensors, assisted.

Wednesday’s search will focus on lower probability areas in the drainage, centered on the location of the man’s last cellphone call, Corkish said.

“Know before you go: No. 1, who will be with you? You don’t really want to go into the backcountry by yourself. Where will you be going? When do you plan on returning? Always bring the ‛Big 6,’” Corkish said, referring to water, food, shelter, light, fire and first aid. “Heading out is an option, coming home is not. We want everyone to come home.”

smullane@durangoherald.com