No clues in Fossum search


An ongoing, two-month search for a missing Steamboat Springs man yielded no new clues Saturday.

Jeffrey Fossum, 50, has been missing since May 24. The search for Fossum was called off June 2, but searchers periodically have returned to the area along the Elk River where his car was found on a bridge near Hinman Park.

About 15 people helped Routt County Search and Rescue look for Fossum on Saturday, Search and Rescue incident commander Tim O'Brien said.

Three water-dog teams, two of which came from the Glenwood Springs area, also assisted in the weekend search, he said.

It was the second weekend in a row that searchers canvassed the area where they think Fossum might have vanished.

A ranch employee found a shoe July 12 on the bank of the Elk River, and Fossum's son, 20-year-old A.J. Fossum, was able to identify the shoe as his father's. After finding the shoe, an extensive search was planned for July 16. Searchers found several items of clothing during their search, but none of the clothing was identified as Fossum's, Steamboat Springs police Capt. Joel Rae said.

Rae said two groups of searchers worked Saturday. One searched from Hinman Park to Routt County Road 129. The other group searched the Elk River near the Glen Eden Resort.

O'Brien said searchers began at 7 a.m. and ended by 4 p.m.

"It felt like a pretty thorough search of the river," O'Brien said.

The warm weather and low river levels have been helpful in allowing for more access to the water and river banks that searchers on foot did not have access to, O'Brien said.

Unfortunately, there were no clues or other articles of clothing found during the search, he said.

O'Brien said that since the search for Fossum began in May, Search and Rescue members and other volunteers have logged more than 3,500 hours searching for Fossum.

"The first five days, we had about 50 to 70 people searching for him in eight-hour shifts, and that adds up pretty fast," he said.

The search for Fossum will continue periodically until either more clues or Fossum are found.

"A search like this is always a priority because we want to be able to give closure to the family and the searchers," O'Brien said. "This search is very important."

Rae said he did not know whether searchers would continue looking for Fossum this weekend or whether they would take off a week or two.

"At this point, we have to evaluate where we've already looked and where we still need to, and we'll go from there," he said.

Rae said the Moffat County Sheriff's Office has offered to search some of the canyons that the Elk River winds through to aid in the search.


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