New Castle woman still missing |

New Castle woman still missing

Pete Fowler
Vail, CO Colorado
Rose Backhaus

MOAB, Utah ” Utah authorities searched for a missing New Castle woman by airplane Wednesday afternoon while her son and several of her friends helped out with efforts on the ground.

The 1 1/2 hour aerial search around Moab, Utah and the surrounding area didn’t find any signs of the woman or her vehicle.

Rose Backhaus, 54, was last seen while checking out of the La Quinta Inn in Moab, around 8 a.m. Sunday morning. She had planned to go on a hiking trip with a friend but ended up going alone. Her roommate and co-workers at Copy Copy in Glenwood Springs where she’s a manager became worried when she didn’t return home Sunday night as planned or go into work early Monday morning.

“The biggest thing is just the issue of time right now,” said her son, Michael Backhaus. “It’s now been three nights that she’s been out there. The longer it goes the harder the struggle gets out there for her.”

Her son and friends say Rose Backhaus is very responsible, loves life, and would not have run away or failed to show up for work.

“She hasn’t run away,” said Leslie Robinson, a friend. “She’s not that type of person so we’re really concerned that something has happened and we just hope that she is found soon.”

A new development unfolded Wednesday morning when authorities obtained more information from Backhaus’ phone records that didn’t turn up in an initial inquiry, according to her son and law enforcement officials.

Rose Backhaus made a cell phone call to check her voice mail around 10:20 a.m. Sunday. The signal bounced off a cell phone tower in New Mexico. Grand County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Curt Brewer said authorities were still looking into how that translates into Rose Backhaus’ possible geographic location at the time. It doesn’t necessarily mean she was in New Mexico.

“It could be several hundred miles from where the signal was received,” Brewer said.

New Castle Police Chief Chris Sadler said the cell phone tower serves Taos, N.M. and the phone record indicates Rose Backhaus, or at least her phone left the Moab area to the south.

Michael Backhaus said his mother has no family or interest in heading to New Mexico and she was probably in the Bluff area in San Juan County, which is about 100 miles south of Moab.

Rose Backhaus was driving an off-red or burgundy 2004 Ford Explorer with a gray interior and a bike rack on the back. The license plate is Colorado 341-JVV.

Backhaus said flyers have been placed all over Moab and Grand Junction areas but haven’t produced any leads.

“I’m definitely optimistic,” he said. “My mom, she’s a really strong-willed person. She’s a pretty good outdoorsman. She’s smart.”

He said he’s confident in her abilities to make good outdoor survival decisions. Rose Backhaus also has a lot of support.

“There’s a lot of people out there praying,” her son said. “I feel that she knows in her heart that we’re looking for her.”

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