DELTA COUNTY, Colo. – The bodies of the two men presumed to have gone missing along with a Sno-Cat they were driving onto a lake on Grand Mesa were recovered Monday afternoon by a special underwater search and rescue vehicle about 65 feet underwater, the Delta County sheriff said Tuesday.
The bodies are presumed to be those of 30-year-old Ryan Wells and 30-year-old Richard Colton, both of Delta. The two men went missing along with a Sno-Cat they drove on Grand Mesa early Sunday morning.
The two were part of a group of four staying at the Grand Mesa Lodge who arrived Saturday night. Early Sunday morning, despite being advised against doing so, Wells and Colton are presumed to have taken the Sno-Cat out onto the ice of the nearby Island Lake. The two men and the Sno-Cat were reported missing at daybreak.
The Delta County Sheriff’s Office and county search and rescue team brought in Summit County Search and Rescue crews to help see if the men and the Sno-Cat were in the lake, as the Sno-Cat’s tracks had stopped at a large hole in the ice.
Summit County Search and Rescue were able to deploy their special Remote Operated Vehicle under the ice on Monday afternoon and discovered both the Sno-Cat and the bodies of two men, presumed to be Wells and Colton, in about 65 feet of water.
The underwater vehicle used its special arm to remove the two bodies from the Sno-Cat and bring them to the surface. The Delta County Coroner’s Office will formally identify the men.
“Delta County Sheriff mark Taylor would like to thank the Summit County Sheriff Jamie FitzSimmons and the Summit County SAR team for responding so quickly and professionally to assist with this tragic incident,” the Delta County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “Sheriff Taylor would also like to thank the Delta County SAR team is an all Delta County community volunteer team for their hard work and dedication in extreme weather conditions to bring some type of closure to the two families of these two men.”