Grand County authorities call off search for missing hunter
November 17, 2014
The Grand County Sheriff's Office (GCSO) has suspended a search and rescue operation for missing hunter Richard Kothanek, 51, of Littleton.
"It was a very difficult and sorrowful decision to make," according to a prepared statement issued by the GCSO. "The decision was finalized after debriefing all the searchers and based on the low probability that Mr. Kothanek was able to survive the extreme weather conditions and the low probability of finding him at this point."
The search for Kothanek began late Saturday afternoon after the GCSO received reports that he was overdue to return from his morning hunt and was believed lost.
Area search and rescue teams set up operational headquarters near Meadow Creek Reservoir, the area where Kothanek was hunting.
Overnight temperatures on Saturday dropped to minus 16 degrees with overnight temperatures on Sunday and Monday night going into the single digits.
Helicopter crews from the High Altitude Aviation Training Site in Colorado and Wyoming used Forward Looking Infrared devices Saturday night and Sunday with no success.
"There were no sightings or solid clues as to the whereabouts of Mr. Kothanek. Our prayers and condolences go out to the family and friends. This was an unfortunate incident and we wished we could have found Mr. Kothanek. If new developments were to arise we would consider more efforts in the search," the statement from GCSO states in closing.