ESTES PARK, Colo. — The family of 20-year-old Micah Tice, the Air Force Academy preparatory school student missing on Longs Peak, attacked the National Park Service during a Friday evening press conference.
Benjamin Tice claims that officials with Rocky Mountain National Park, which has suspended the search for the 20-year-old man missing for two weeks in wintry weather, has not done enough to find his son.
“Limited searches were conducted and directed by the National Park Service and their search and rescue from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3rd,” said Benjamin Tice. “A total of 6 days of boots on the ground.”
Micah Tice has been missing for nearly two weeks. He was last seen hiking on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park on Nov. 24. Rangers found Tice's vehicle at the Longs Peak trailhead the afternoon of Nov. 26.
Watch the press conference in the video player below:
The father believes Micah could have sought shelter in an area the National Park Service has not searched.
“Hikers who’ve gone to this non-National Park Service searched zone report that there are numerous shelters that a hiker could be protected from severe weather elements,” he said.
Benjamin Tice said his family has been denied access to additional resources in the search for Micah. A search for the missing cadet has included ground crews, trained dogs and helicopters. Search efforts began on Tuesday, Nov. 27, three days after Micah was last seen.
“Despite our family’s pleas with the National Park Service to request assistance from the military, and specifically Fort Carson’s Mountaineering Division, we were repeatedly denied and were told that the NPS had sufficient resources,“ he said.
In a statement to Denver7, Kyle Patterson, the Public Affairs Officer for Rocky Mountain National Park, detailed the park's efforts in locating the cadet.
"The search for Micah has continued in severe winter conditions. The number of rescuers in the field beginning the morning of November 27 through Monday, December 3, has been appropriate given the difficulty of the high alpine environment, and the safety of the rescuers," Patterson wrote.
Patterson said the park used military assets during the days-long search for Micah, including the mountaineering club from United States Air Force Academy. Patterson said the park was not contacted by Fort Carson to provide assistance.
During the Friday press conference, he pleaded for help from state and federal officials, including President Donald Trump.
“President Trump: we plead for your help. Secretary Zinke has the ability to request military assistance, and we have thus far not received word that this was formally done, despite verbal understandings that this was done. Secretary Zinke: we plead for your help. Colorado Governor Hickenlooper has the ability to activate National Guard troops to assist with the Micah Tice rescue. Gov. Hickenlooper: We plead for your help. Colorado Governor-Elect Jared Polis has tremendous influence in this area as Congressman. Governor-Elect Polis: we plead for your help,” said Benjamin Tice.
Friends of the family and other experienced hikers plan to search the area again this weekend. They say activity from Micah’s cellphone was recorded Nov. 25 around 10,000 feet, the elevation where the weekend search will focus on.
The National Park Service suspended their search Tuesday. Officials say they could resume if conditions are favorable.