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Durango hiker goes missing between Elbert Creek Road and Little Creek Trail

79-year-old was 20 minutes away from finishing when communication with his wife stopped
Durango man Jim Shadid, 79, went missing Sunday while hiking west of Purgatory Resort, according to the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office. (Courtesy of La Plata County Search and Rescue)

A Durango man went missing while out hiking Sunday between Little Elk Creek Trail and Elbert Creek Road near Line Canyon.

Jim Shadid, 79, went missing after starting the hike around 11 a.m. for what was supposed to be a 90-minute round trip to scout elk, said La Plata County Sheriff’s office spokesman Chris Burke.

Shadid was wearing a tan “safari”-style hat, khaki pants and did not have a backpack at the time he went missing. However, he was in radio communication with his wife and alerted her when he was about 20 minutes away from finishing the hike but never returned home, Burke said.

Shadid is about 5-foot-6 and weighs about 140 pounds, according to information released by La Plata County Search and Rescue.

“Looks like search and rescue is in the field now and we’ve had helicopters in the area also,” Burke said. “Posters have been distributed at Elbert Creek and Hermosa Creek Trailhead.”

Search and rescue teams are focusing on areas west of Purgatory Resort based on what Shadid told his wife before going missing.

Burke described the man as a “pretty strong and athletic guy” as well as an “avid outdoorsman.”


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