Community grieves, hopes for missing Steamboat Springs woman
Steamboat Springs, CO Colorado
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado – As the search for Rebecca Green is scaled back until Fish Creek flows drop to safe levels, members of the Steamboat Springs community are struggling with conflicting emotions of grief, hope, sadness and love for the woman missing since Saturday afternoon.
In Steamboat, it could be harder to find someone who doesn’t know Green than someone who does.
Green, 40, has been a speech language pathologist for Horizons Specialized Services for about four years, working with children up to 3 years old across Routt County and in Craig. Horizons executive director Susan Mizen estimated Monday that Green has worked with 150 families in the region.
Green has also been an active volunteer with United Methodist Church, local Sunday school classes and Girl Scouts, and at Strawberry Park Elementary School – in addition to what friends described as an incredibly loving devotion to her family.
“We have taught Sunday school together, we did a girls book club for our daughters together, organized class parties together, volunteered in the schools … She is always one of the first to volunteer and help and do anything that she could. She is great that way,” said Danielle Skov, whose children are about the same age as Green’s. “I think that every mother in Steamboat is just so grieving and so saddened by everything – we just all realize what a wonderful person she is.”
Kim Castor of Omaha, Neb., wrote in an e-mail Monday that she has known Green since her childhood in Loup City, Neb. – where Green was a high school cheerleader and prom queen – and that Green was the maid of honor in her wedding.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find one person who could say a bad thing about Rebecca or her family. They are so very much loved and adored,” Castor wrote. “As you can imagine, this tragedy has rocked our small community and everyone who knew this wonderful woman.”
United Methodist Church pastor Tim Selby said Green’s husband, Rodney, “knows the community is really behind them and appreciates all that everybody is doing for them.”
Children’s service coordinator Kathy Northcutt said Horizons has received a flood of phone calls from clients and friends expressing support for Green and her family.
“It’s been an outpouring of affection,” Northcutt said.
A prayer vigil for the family is at 7 p.m. today at United Methodist Church, at Eighth and Oak streets.
Search stalled for safety
Green and her 8-year-old son, Kade, fell into Fish Creek below the upper falls Saturday. Green’s father, Eldon Adams, said Green was trying to bring Kade back from a rock when Kade slipped and, as she tried to catch him, Green fell into the water herself.
Kade told a rescuer that after falling into the creek, he was able to grab a branch and pull himself out on the other side. Rescuers safely carried him back to the trailhead. Green has been missing since about 1 p.m. Saturday.
The search continued through the weekend and Monday, but Search and Rescue spokeswoman Riley Polumbus said the rain and heavy flows finally made conditions too dangerous for rescuers.
“We have decided we are scaling back the search until water flows come down and stay down at a consistent, safe level,” Polumbus said Monday night. “Rout County Search and Rescue will continue to monitor streamflow data, and we’re also going to walk high-probability areas (at the falls) and scan those.”
Polumbus said the decision is to ensure safety of search crews not only in the water, but also on the trail.
“The trail is pretty tame up to a certain point, but once you get slick rocks, it’s pretty treacherous,” she said. “If it continues to rain like this, it’s not going to help our water levels. So we’ll continue to monitor that and go up as we can.”
Polumbus said nothing new came of Monday’s search efforts. She reiterated that the length of the search has all but ended hopes of a successful rescue.
“This is a search and recovery mission at this point,” she said Monday.
Up until now, the county has been a referral agency relegated to commenting on the plan but that could change if developers plan water service extension to the site