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Search called off for missing hikers at Mount Evans

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No sign of Minnesota father and son missing near Echo Lake

By Beth Potter

The search was called off last week for a Minnesota father and son reported missing April 6 after they failed to return from a hike in the Mount Evans area.

After four days of intense searching, no sign was found of Damian McManus, 52, and Evan McManus, 19, in the Mount Evans area, said Bill Barwick, a spokesman for the Alpine Rescue Team. 

The search was called off about 4 p.m. April 9 by the Clear Creek Sheriff's Office. At its peak, the search included about 70 rescuers from several mountain agencies.

"It doesn’t mean they’re not there; we just can’t find them," Barwick said. "We've exhausted all possibilities of where they might have gone."

The two men told others they were planning to "scale a peak" in Colorado before they went missing. The men's cell phones were "active" until 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, according to information from the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center's electronics investigation team. Cell phone information indicated the pair were directly south of the Echo Lake Campground on April 2.

The McManus SUV was found parked at the Echo Lake Campground.

Flight for Life Colorado helped conduct aerial searches, and rescuers were ferried to the area via snowmobile and Sno-Cat to search on skis and snowshoes. High winds and blowing snow hampered early search efforts.

The McManuses drove from St. Louis Park, Minn., to Colorado for a spring-break trip, Barwick said. A receipt found in the car indicates the pair had breakfast April 2 at a Denny’s in Lakewood.

On a Facebook page set up in conjunction with the search, a person identifying herself as the girlfriend of Evan McManus said she last heard from him April 2. Several people posted offers of help on the Facebook page.

The team looking for the missing hikers included search-and-rescue personnel from nine organizations, including the Arapahoe Rescue Patrol, the Summit County Rescue Group, the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group and Vail Mountain Rescue.

Other agencies assisting in the operation included the Colorado Search and Rescue Board, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, the Colorado National Guard, and Flight for Life.