Authorities searching for Basalt teen | VailDaily.com
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Authorities searching for Basalt teen

Aspen Times photoAuthorities and family members are searching for 17-year-old Dana Mytty, who lives in Missouri Heights near Basalt.
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BASALT ” The last time Helen Mytty spoke with her daughter Dana, she asked the 17-year-old what color jacket she wanted from China Town in San Francisco.

She said red.

Several days later, the petite teen with sandy brown hair was gone.



Helen, her husband, Ruben, and Dana’s 12 siblings aren’t sure about the circumstances behind Dana’s disappearance. All they know is that she hasn’t called and it’s been an extremely long week filled with worry.

“You go over this line of anger to anxiety. You feel so helpless,” said Helen, as she sat on the back porch of her Missouri Heights home. “I’m not mad, but I’m scared, because I don’t think she knows how mean and wicked this world is.”



Dana’s 27-year-old brother, Doug, said she stayed the night at a friend’s house in Basalt on Thursday, Aug. 18. An anonymous tipster called the Mytty home Wednesday and said he “didn’t want to be a narc,” but saw her at the Telluride Mushroom Festival with a male from the El Jebel area similar in age to Dana.

That’s all the information the Mytty family has on Dana’s whereabouts.

“Yesterday we requested FBI involvement, but they said no. (Before Wednesday) she was last seen in Two Rivers Park (in Glenwood Springs),” Doug said. “The local law enforcement on the case is limited to Eagle County, because Dana’s address is Missouri Heights. It would help if more than one officer was on the case.”



The Myttys filed a missing-person report with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and have put up posters and taken out newspaper advertisements with Dana’s photo and description, around the Roaring Fork Valley.

Dana’s mother believes her youngest daughter, who she describes as a bubbly and emotional girl, is more than just a runaway ” a prevailing assumption with her case.

“I don’t think she had any intentions of being gone more than one or two days,” Helen said. “My real fear is somebody could have gotten her. I’ve just always felt this is every parent’s nightmare. I’ve tried to warn her of the dangers, but I don’t think she thinks that could happen to her.”

Helen said she thinks Dana did not intend to be gone long because she left home with just a few small items ” and literally the clothes on her back.

“She didn’t take anything with her but her retainer and a toothbrush,” Helen said. “I don’t believe this runaway business. She would have taken her phone charger. She has no money, no access to an account, no charge card or debit card.”

Dana’s family has attempted to track her down through friends, a process they said has been difficult.

“I just think they know more than they’re saying, but you can’t force them to talk. We just feel so frustrated because no one is saying anything,” Helen said. “If they really are her friends, why aren’t they showing more concern? It boggles our minds.”

Before her disappearance, Helen said Dana indicated she did not want to return to Basalt High School and planned to start her junior year this fall in Minnesota ” where the family once lived until they moved to Colorado in 2001.

Dana has siblings and relatives who have remained in Minnesota, as well as an older sister she lived with in Spokane, Wash.

“One kid said maybe she ran away to Minnesota, but there is no reason she had to do that. We were going to take her there,” Helen said.

One perplexing aspect of Dana’s disappearance is that she has not contacted her 21-year-old brother, David, with whom Helen said she has a close relationship.

“David is really upset. He’s the one she’s always called,” Helen said.

Breaking down during the interview, Helen said the entire Mytty family, including Dana’s 91-year-old grandmother who lives with them, wants her to know they care. Most importantly, they want her to come home.

“She’s never ran away before. I would just think she would have called. I’m just hoping she’ll call or somebody will bring her here,” Helen said. “In my heart of hearts I think she either trusted the wrong person or something has happened. I just can’t go there ” if I do, I’ll just lose it.”

Vail, Colorado


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