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Efforts grow to locate missing rafter who disappeared in Royal Gorge on June 28

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Posted at 11:02 AM, Jul 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-27 13:02:29-04

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. — Efforts are expanding by search crews in Fremont County where a 31-year-old rafter went missing on June 28.

Crews say although they immediately searched the Royal Gorge in Fremont County for the missing rafter, they weren't able to positively identify who went missing until July 8 when Eric Ashby's family reported him missing.

According to witnesses, Ashby was swept away into the current while rafting and hasn't been seen since. 

Initial search efforts included the Fremont Coujnty Sheriff's Office, Colorado State Parks and the Canon City Fire District through ground, helicopter and rafting efforts. 

Now, teams are activating a drone search team, a spotting team on the Royal Gorge Scenic Railyway tour rain, two dog teams and teams on the ground.

Efforts are currently focusing on a 28-mile stretch of the river, but have been slowed by recent rain due to mud. 

Denver7 will continue to follow the story and update this page if more details are learned.