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Missing snowmobilers found

UPDATE (Feb. 22, 1:17 p.m.) — All five of the snowmobilers who were reported missing early Friday morning have been found and are reportedly healthy.

Lt. Mark Conrad of the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office said the five were found in the west fork of Horse Creek Mesa just after 1 p.m. today. He said they were requesting gas, as they had run out, but would not require medical attention.

Conrad said he expected the five men would return to Bear Lodge within a couple of hours.

 

UPDATE (Feb. 22, 1 p.m.): While there is still no sign of the five  snowmobilers from North Dakota missing in the Bighorns, Lt. Mark Conrad of the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office said an “overwhelming” number of people showed up this morning to help in the search.

Conrad said those conducting the search are still hoping for a break in the weather to allow planes to assist in the search.

UPDATE (Feb. 22, 9 a.m.): Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Mark Conrad said more than 50 people have been taking shifts searching for five missing snowmobilers since Friday morning.

Poor visibility and wintry weather are hindering search efforts. Conrad said they’ve requested help from the Civil Air Patrol. They have planes with infrared capability to aid in the search. But, the pilots cannot fly in the current weather conditions.

Conrad added that the snowmobilers are familiar with the Bighorns, as they have been coming here to ride for about 15 years. Friends and family of the missing men from North Dakota have come to the Sheridan area to aid in the search.

Search teams are using the WYDOT facility near Bear Lodge as the base for search operations, taking shifts searching and sleeping. Check back here, and The Sheridan Press Facebook page for updates as they are available.

UPDATE — 5:04 p.m. Feb 21, 2014:  Conrad said the Johnson County and Big Horn County Search and Rescue Teams have been called to help as of this afternoon. This is normal procedure because of the length of time the men have been gone and they’re also in an area where the boundries of the three counties triangulate, though the teams work together.

Conrad also said visibility on the mountain is low, and he’s hoping the men are hunkered down somewhere.

SHERIDAN — Sheridan County’s Search and Rescue team was called into the Bighorn Mountains at approximately 4:45 a.m. today after five snowmobilers were reported missing.

Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Mark Conrad said the group was last seen at the High Country Lodge.

Conrad said the group was reported missing by Roberta Young, the owner of the Bear Lodge Resort. Young had said the five arrived at the lodge with their own snowmobiles, but two of them later rented sleds.

Conrad said the missing snowmobilers are considered to be very experienced.

“Also, the fact there are five is good,” he said. “There’s strength in numbers.”

The five were last seen at approximately 3:30 p.m. yesterday. The group has not made any cellphone contact. Conrad said searchers do not know the groups initial direction of travel.

Conrad said searchers will likely focus on areas of the mountain with no cellphone service.

The missing snowmobilers are from North Dakota and have been identified as Chad Tweeten, James Murray Sr., Jaren Murray, Rod Schiling and Dustin Schlichting.

 

 

About

Tracee Davis

Tracee Davis joined the staff at The Sheridan Press in July of 2013. She covers business, energy and public safety. Tracee grew up in Kemmerer and has lived in several locations both in the U.S. and overseas. Her journalism training stems from her military service.

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