Father and son missing in Echo Lake area; Clear Creek County launches search

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. - Search and rescue teams on Monday will resume their search around the Echo Lake area for a missing father and son.

Damian McManus, 51, and Evan McManus, 19, from St. Louis Park, Minn., were last heard from on Wednesday, said Bill Barwick with the Alpine Rescue Team.

They left for their camping trip on Wednesday and were due back on Sunday. They had driven to Colorado from Minnesota and planned to stop and hike along the way as part of their father-son trip for spring break, family friends say.

Damian McManus' wife and Evan's twin sister took a mother-daughter trip to Mexico and had just returned on Sunday. When they did not hear from the men on Sunday afternoon, they reported the pair missing. 

Searchers with the Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office, Flight for Life and Alpine Search and Rescue launched a search with snowmobiles, ATVs and a helicopter.  However, the crews did not locate any sign of the men, Barwick said. 

They ended the search around 7:30 p.m. because of nightfall and continuing snowfall.

Teams will continue the search first thing Monday morning and will have a command post set up at Echo Lake Lodge at first light, Barwick said.

Investigators believe that the missing hikers' vehicle is still in the area. There are about five trails from that trailhead, but searchers are unclear which trail they hiked. It's been snowing in the area for the past couple of days so any tracks may have been covered up by the snow.

"We're just praying, just praying that they are safe and that they're gonna find them somewhere," said a family friend. "Damian has military experience. He's a planner so he wouldn't just go off on a hike without having some plan .. He's very resourceful. So we're just holding out hope that he's just got them stowed away somewhere just waiting to be found."

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