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Man missing from clear creek reservoir campground


A two-day search over the weekend by Chaffee County authorities failed to locate a man last seen on Wednesday at his campsite in the Clear Creek Reservoir campground.  Brian Duane Nelson, 59, of Salida was last seen seated alone at his campsite by other persons camped nearby.  Late Friday, after campers noticed no activity at Nelson’s campsite, they notified sheriff’s deputies of their concerns for his safety.

Early Saturday morning, a search for Nelson was launched by volunteers from the Chaffee County Search and Rescue Team aided by Colorado State Parks rangers, Colorado Division of Wildlife personnel, and dog teams from Search and Rescue Dogs of Colorado.  In all, approximately twenty-five persons participated in the operation.  A widespread search of the area, including the reservoir waters, failed to turn up any trace of Mr. Nelson and search efforts were scaled back on Sunday pending receipt of new information.

Search efforts were hindered Saturday when resources had to be diverted to the rescue of a hiker injured while descending Mount Princeton.  That person, unidentified as of this writing, was assisted off the mountain by search and rescue volunteers.  He was later airlifted to a hospital in Denver.  The extent of his injuries is unknown.

Also on Saturday, the sheriff’s office received reports of four overdue hikers on Mount Princeton and one on Mount Columbia.  All required responses by deputies, but all were later discovered to have walked out safely.

Area residents and visitors are asked to report any sightings of Mr. Nelson.  He is described as Caucasian male, 59 years, hazel eyes, gray hair, gray moustache and goatee, 6’5” in height, 220 pounds.  Authorities do not know what Mr. Nelson was wearing when he disappeared.

Anyone having any information about Mr. Nelson’s whereabouts is asked to call the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office at 719-539-2596.

1 Comment for this entry

Sheriff Palmer
June 26th, 2012 on 4:07 pm

On Monday, the man emailed his sister from the library in Leadville saying that he had walked from the campground to Leadville, a distance of more than twenty miles, carrying his sleeping bag, leaving his car and camping equipment in the campground, without notifying anyone. No reason for his actions was given to the sheriff’s office. Untold hours of volunteer searchers’ time were wasted looking for him and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars in salary expenses for authorities participating in the search were incurred by taxpayers. It is difficult to fathom the man’s motive for creating this debacle.