Hundreds of volunteers join search for man missing in the Uintas
July 23, 2018
Police and volunteers were still searching on Monday for a South Jordan man who was last seen on July 18 while camping with family near the Hidden Lake area of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
According to the Summit County Sheriff's Office, Ray Humpherys, 66, went missing after he told family members he planned to walk to the lake — about 40 yards away — to get water to extinguish the campfire at around 10 p.m. His family contacted the Summit County Sheriff's Office at around 12:30 p.m. July 19 after he failed to return to the campsite.
Sheriff's deputies and members of Summit County Search and Rescue began searching for Humpherys later that afternoon, with assistance from the Utah Department of Public Safety, Civil Air Patrol and Great Basin K9 Search and Rescue. Additional search and rescue teams from Davis, Wasatch and Utah counties have also assisted.
A dive team with the Utah Department of Public Safety also searched Hidden Lake over the weekend, according to officials. The lake can reach depths of up to 28 feet.
More than 300 volunteers organized by the Garrett Bardsley Foundation showed up on Sunday. The foundation is named after Garrett Bardsley, an 11-year-old boy who went missing in the Uintas in 2004. He was never found.
Lt. Andrew Wright said the foundation often organizes the volunteer aspect of search and rescues for the Sheriff's Office. Monday was the last day the organization planned to lead the volunteer search, but the Sheriff's Office plans to continue looking through at least the end of the week. The situation will be reevaluated on Friday if Humphreys hasn't been found.
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Search teams and volunteers have combed a nearly 10-mile radius from where he was last seen.
Wright said he spoke with Humphreys' family, and they remain determined to find him. They described Humphreys as an avid outdoorsman who has spent nearly 30 years hiking in the High Uintas and would know how to be resourceful.
"They are being strong, but they are also becoming more and more concerned as the days go by," he said. "They just want their dad home. They are extremely upset and scared of what the outcome could be. As the days continue, it becomes more concerning about his survivability."
But, Wright added, "We've had people that we've found after four days that were still alive."
"We remain hopeful, but that hopefulness definitely starts to go down as the days go on," he said.
Humpherys was last seen wearing a black jacket and vest with a gray shirt and tan/gray pants. He stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 190 pounds.
Anyone who has seen Humpherys is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 435-615-3600.