Search For Missing Backpackers Moves East

Rescuers Optimistic Couple Has Enough Food, Water To Survive Several Days

Search and rescue teams are pulling in additional resources in hopes of finding a couple last seen on Sunday.

The search for Terry and Marion Jones on Thursday stretches East toward CSU’s Pingree Park campus in Larimer County.

The command center is expected to be along the Brown’s Lake Trail off Crown Point Road.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office says additional search teams will be on horseback and ATV’s.

Search leader Bill Nelson says it’s possible the couple may have gotten turned around due to heavy timber on the trails.

“So as long as they didn’t get hurt, or nothing else happened to them, they could just be disorentied, can’t figure out where they’re at, and are just camping,” Nelson said.

As a result of media reports on the search, a hunter called park officials and said he had seen the couple near Petersen Lake, north of Rocky Mountain National Park, on Sunday afternoon, between 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.

Search efforts Wednesday focused outside of the park, in the Comanche Peak Wilderness Area. The incident command area was moved to Trap Lake on Long Draw Reservoir Road.

Afternoon rainstorms forced rescuers to stop their search Wednesday evening.

Rescuers said the terrain in the search area is heavy, thick timber, which limits rescue efforts because voices can only be heard for a short distance.

The terrain is also hampering communication. Rescuers have to transmit their progress to another team located up on Crown Point, who in turn, relays information down to the command center.

A helicopter from Montrose arrived Thursday morning to help with the search.

Authorities said Terry Jones 54, and his wife, Marion, 49, from Fort Collins, Colo., left the Chapin Pass trailhead in the park on Saturday, hoping to hike 14 miles down along the Poudre River Trail and come out at the Big South trailhead on Sunday.

Their family never heard from the two after their son dropped them off in the park.

Parks officials said their car was located Monday night outside the park at the Big South trailhead on Highway 14, where they were supposed to come out.

The Joneses are believed to have limited experience with this particular trail, but both are experienced backpackers.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office is now in charge of the search, with staff from Rocky Mountain National Park helping to search in the air.

Seven park officials have also joined deputies, trackers and dog teams in the ground search.

If anyone has seen the couple, they are asked to contact the Larimer County sheriff at 970-416-1985.

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