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  1. #1
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    CO - Michelle Vanek, 35, Mount of the Holy Cross, 2005 - Largest Search In CO History

    Missing Woman's Trail Littered With Questions

    Michelle Vanek Still Missing After Largest Search In Colorado History



    POSTED: 10:53 am MST December 5


    MINTURN, Colo. -- Out of water and exhausted near the summit of her first 14,000-foot peak, Michelle Vanek sat down on a rock on a windy September afternoon and implored her hiking companion to go ahead.

    It was the last anyone saw of the 35-year-old Lakewood mother of four, who disappeared high on Mount of the Holy Cross in a case that remains an unsolved mystery despite the largest search in Colorado history.

    Did she stumble and fall to her death or mistakenly wander down the wrong route, eventually to be overcome by the elements, as searchers speculate? Was she killed by an animal, perhaps indicated by a spattering of blood spotted in the snow some distance away? Or did a mysterious squatter who refused to answer questions from sheriff's investigators have anything to do with her disappearance?

    Newly released investigative documents detail the numerous missteps taken by Vanek and her hiking partner, Eric Sawyer, and the exhaustive seven-day search that ensued. But the complete story remains elusive.

    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news...s=den&psp=news

  2. #2
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  3. #3

  4. #4
    AMF's Avatar
    AMF is offline Faith dares the soul to go farther than it can see. (Wm. Clark)
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    I had forgotten Michelle, but the high country is melting out, slowly, so hikers should keep their eyes open.

  5. #5
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    NamUs Profile

    https://www.findthemissing.org/cases/show/13019

    Case Information
    Status
    Missing
    First name
    Michelle
    Middle name
    Last name
    Vanek
    Nickname/Alias
    Date LKA
    September 24, 2005 16:13
    Date entered
    11/21/2011
    Age LKA
    35 to years old
    Age now
    42 years old
    Race
    White
    Ethnicity
    Other
    Sex
    Female
    Height (inches)
    60.0 to 70.0
    Weight (pounds)
    145.0 to 160.0

  6. #6
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    http://www.vaildaily.com/news/763782...ty-cross-hiker

    "Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness on Thursday."

    It's a short article. It states that the Eagle County Sheriff's investigators were
    called out there to see if the skull belonged to a person who went missing in that area.
    Michelle Vanek went missing in 2005. They haven't determined yet who it belongs to....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treelights View Post
    http://www.vaildaily.com/news/763782...ty-cross-hiker

    "Skull found in Holy Cross Wilderness on Thursday."

    It's a short article. It states that the Eagle County Sheriff's investigators were
    called out there to see if the skull belonged to a person who went missing in that area.
    Michelle Vanek went missing in 2005. They haven't determined yet who it belongs to....
    That skull belonged to James Nelson, another hiker who went missing on Holy Cross in 2010. Michelle Vanek is still missing.

  8. #8
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    Michelle has been missing for ten years now. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance are scary; she was left alone for only a small amount of time by her hiking partner. When he returned, she was gone and despite an extensive search, she was never found. Investigators believe that she died due to a mishap in the wilderness. I hope her family can bring her home soon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    I find the following part so odd (and it deserves to be read two times):
    At the end of the first day of the search, rescuers encountered a mysterious backpacker coming down the trail who refused to talk. He hid behind a tree and then ran down the trail, Deputy Steve Wilson reported. Others said he defiantly refused to talk with them.

    Searchers later encountered a tent with a light on, but the person inside would not respond to their questions or open the tent’s zipper.

    The next day, sheriff’s investigators met someone they believe was the same person. After declining to provide an ID, he reluctantly told Deputy Karen Waddell his name was Peter Martin. He was not questioned further, and investigators do not presume he was involved in Vanek’s disappearance.
    http://www.denverpost.com/2005/12/03...ith-questions/

    So, soon after the disappearance a man with a very odd behaviour, who refuses to talk, runs away and hides.
    However that is not the part I find the really odd thing, but how it could be that he was not questioned further, and secondly, how it despite him not being questioned further could be presumed that he had nothing to do with the disappearance??

  10. #10
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    Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by 13coffees View Post
    That skull belonged to James Nelson, another hiker who went missing on Holy Cross in 2010. Michelle Vanek is still missing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Picachu View Post
    I find the following part so odd (and it deserves to be read two times): http://www.denverpost.com/2005/12/03...ith-questions/

    So, soon after the disappearance a man with a very odd behaviour, who refuses to talk, runs away and hides.
    However that is not the part I find the really odd thing, but how it could be that he was not questioned further, and secondly, how it despite him not being questioned further could be presumed that he had nothing to do with the disappearance??
    Odd behavior is not grounds for an arrest warrant. So far there is no evidence connecting him to Michelle's disappearance. I am personally suspicious of the guy, but e everyone is presumed innocent under the law.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozoner View Post
    Odd behavior is not grounds for an arrest warrant. So far there is no evidence connecting him to Michelle's disappearance. I am personally suspicious of the guy, but e everyone is presumed innocent under the law.
    That is true, however the question is how they could presume him innocent if they did not even question him?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picachu View Post
    That is true, however the question is how they could presume him innocent if they did not even question him?
    No one is required to answer police questions--ever. Even people who refuse to answer questions are entitled to a presumption of innocence.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Picachu View Post
    That is true, however the question is how they could presume him innocent if they did not even question him?
    He doesn't have to be questioned to be presumed innocent.

  14. #14
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    Apr 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourcatsonepup View Post
    He doesn't have to be questioned to be presumed innocent.
    What was it that made them presume him innocent?



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