Search for man resumes

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Searchers looking for a missing Steamboat Springs man found several items of clothing they said may belong to him.

Jeffrey Fossum, 50, has been missing since May 24. The search for Fossum was called off June 2, but volunteers periodically have been searching areas along the river where Fossum is thought to have vanished.

Police Capt. Joel Rae said that several articles of clothing were found during the search and that he is going to show them to Fossum's son before drawing any conclusions from the findings.

Routt County Search and Rescue members, Routt County Sheriff's Office deputies and Steamboat Springs police searched the Elk River from the area near the Glen Eden Resort on Routt County Road 129 south to C.R. 64, incident commander Sandy Phillips said.

Phillips said the search began at about 6 a.m. and ended at about 5:30 p.m.

A raft team composed of a search and rescue member, two volunteers and a search dog team from Fairplay navigated the water. In addition to the raft team, a kayaker also searched the river. Several people searched both sides of the river banks and the surrounding area on foot.

Phillips said they did not find any new clues or see anything on the river.

Rae said that on Tuesday, a ranch employee found a shoe near the river and turned it into the Sheriff's Office as possible evidence in the search. The Sheriff's Office then notified the police and had Fossum's son and a friend identify the shoe.

"There is no way to positively identity a shoe, but it was the same type of shoe, the same brand and the same size, so the probability is that is belongs to him," Rae said.

After the shoe was identified, Rae spent the rest of the week organizing a search to return to the area and look for more clues.

Rae notified the landowners along that stretch of the river that a search would be occurring so that searchers would have access to private land.

Search conditions were good Saturday even though the river was running a little shallow for the boat and kayak.

"What we couldn't search a few weeks ago, we can search now," Rae said.

Phillips said that search efforts had been postponed while officials waited for the flow of the Elk River to drop and that they were able to look for things that searchers on foot could not see.

The day Fossum was reported missing, his car was found parked at a bridge over the Elk River in Hinman Park. It is thought that Fossum left with only his hiking shoes and that he may have been going for a day hike. Officials are not speculating what might have happened to Fossum.

Officials were waiting to evaluate the articles of clothing found Saturday before deciding how the search would resume today, if it resumed at all.

"It would be nice to find this guy and give the family some closure," Rae said.

-- To contact Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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