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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    CO - Mitchell 'Dale' Stehling, 51, Mesa Verde NP, 9 June 2013


    Mitchell Dale Stehling, 51, disappeared after telling his wife and mother he was going for a hike to the Spruce Tree House ruin, accessible by a steep ¼-mile paved trail.

    When he had not returned two hours later, a two-week intensive search began that at its peak included 60 searchers, two dog teams, helicopter surveillance, and rope teams rappeling off cliffs in the Chapin Mesa area.

    But not one physical clue has been found related to Stehling, who left with no water on a sweltering day that reached over 100 degrees. The hike was supposed to be short, but he ended up on a longer, more remote trail.

    Over the course of a year, Stehling returned to the national park three times with the hope for answers, a glimmer of insight into what happened to her husband of 32 years, but the short-lived search last June went cold...

    Farias said the park extended efforts for months to find Stehling, which included calling in close to 100 people at a time to search, scaling cliffs and searching in areas of the park closed to guests.

    There are a lot of cliff areas in the park that extend down to the Ute Mountain reservation that are filled with rocks, and Farias said if Stehling fell down a cliff, it would be almost impossible to see him from above or below it. "If he fell off a cliff, if he fell in between a rock area - unless you are looking straight down, even helicopters would not see him," he said.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Dale Strehling's Disappearance and the Need to Track People Who Vanish on Federal Land
    That's when Dale told Denean that he was heading off on a hike to the Spruce Tree House ruin, an attraction whose path is reportedly steep but just a quarter-mile long. But he didn't return, and after two hours, Denean raised an alarm, setting off a two-week search that included as many as sixty rescuers, plus helicopters, two dog teams and rope teams that rappelled off cliffs in the vicinity.
    These efforts came up empty, and since then, there have been no developments in the case -- and no way to track it, since there isn't a federal database that allows access to information about people missing on federal lands.
    more at link.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    No clues for hiker missing since 2013


    A hiker who went missing in Mesa Verde National Park more than 3½ years ago has still not been found, but the search continues.

    Jesse Farias, chief ranger for Mesa Verde National Park, said Monday the area has been heavily searched, and efforts continue there but with no results.

    “In November, we had a dog team come in and search that area again for human remains, but they did not pick up any hits,” he said Monday. “When we have search-and-rescue exercises, we go there and continue to look but have not found him.”

    Farias said Stehling’s wife, Denean, was present for the most recent dog search in November.

    “We all want closure on this case. It’s difficult for the family and for park staff. We let all employees know about the case, the missing poster is in our office, and we and continue to search different areas,” he said.

    No foul play is suspected.

    “My gut feeling is that he is out there somewhere and never left the park. There is no reason to think otherwise – there have been no sightings,” Farias said. “The case is still open.”

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    This really bugs me, how do people just seemingly disappear into thin air? So strange.

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