Bill Schade’s body found near Shadow Mountain shoreline
January 15, 2017
A multi-hour search effort for Grand Lake resident Bill Schade was tragically halted Sunday morning Jan. 14 after Schade's body was discovered near the shoreline of Shadow Mountain Lake.
Members of Grand County's Search and Rescue (GCSAR) Team 1 found Schade deceased at 8:10 a.m. this morning. Authorities believe Schade wandered to the area sometime Saturday evening. County officials notified Schade's family of the discovery early Sunday morning. Authorities are investigating to determine a specific cause of death.
Schade was a 65-year-old resident of Grand Lake with Alzheimer's. He went missing Saturday afternoon at around 4:10 p.m. and was last seen wearing tennis shoes, blue jeans and a green and black western jacket.
Lieutenant Dan Mayer, Public Information Officer for the Grand County Sheriff's Office (GCSO), described some of the search efforts from Saturday night. Based on historical patterns relating to similar incidents Mayer said authorities believed they would find Schade within one-half-mile of his last known location. "He was found within that distance," Mayer said. "We turned Grand Lake upside down last night. Our focus this morning was to hit the shorelines and the lake. That is where we found him unfortunately."
The search efforts for Schade began Saturday evening with his family and progressed to include the Grand Lake Fire Protection District. Shortly thereafter both the GCSAR and GCSO joined the efforts. By 8:30 p.m. Saturday several local citizens had also responded to assist with the search.
Mayer said he was touched by the community support that was offered to help find Schade Saturday night. "We had this outpouring from the community that was just amazing," Mayer said. "We had close to 20 Search and Rescue people out last night. Grand Lake Fire did a phenomenal job. Granby PD assisted. The National Park Service came up this morning (Sunday) and they were searching their areas."
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Among the citizen volunteers that assisted with the search effort Saturday night and Sunday morning was Bryant Liles.
"I had met Bill only a few times," Liles stated Sunday afternoon. "I was inclined to help. It seemed like the right thing to do. Many people must've felt this way as I noticed countless others looking throughout the night."
Liles stated there were, "numerous people on foot and in cars and trucks all over town. We looked all over the Woodpecker Hill area. I will never forget looking down over the town from the side of the hill and noticing the many flashlights and vehicles wandering around searching for him."
According to Liles the search efforts continued in earnest until about 1 a.m. Sunday morning when it was determined that Schade was definitely not wandering around Grand Lake on foot.
"The effort put forth by many, many folks was truly inspiring," Liles stated. "That said, I can't help but think that even more help could've made the difference. You just don't realize how big a small place can be until you are trying to look for somebody in the cold and dark. I know I am not the only one who is disappointed and regretful today."
Liles encouraged other citizens of Grand County to become involved in the all-volunteer GCSAR force or with our local fire protection districts. "You never know when you or somebody you love will have to rely on these resources."
The Sky-Hi News extends our sincerest condolences to Schade's family and friends as well as anyone experiencing grief from his tragic and untimely passing.