No sign of missing Lakewood woman
September 29, 2005
EAGLE COUNTY ” A scaled-down but concentrated search of the area below the Mount of the Holy Cross summit turned up no signs of 35-year-old Michelle Vanek, a Lakewood woman missing in the mountains since Saturday.
Eleven rescuers searched escape routes in the Tuhare Lake and Seven Sisters Lake areas, an area difficult to reach in past days because of bad weather. The rescuers planned to camp in the wilderness overnight.
About 40 other volunteers, one dog team and two helicopters searched the outlying areas in Holy Cross Wilderness. The effort was a marked decrease from the previous two days, when 100 or more people combed the mountain along with multiple helicopters in the air above.
The rescue could increase again beginning Saturday, said Bill Kaufman, spokesman for the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.
Vanek, a married mother of four, vanished Saturday while her male friend climbed to the Holy Cross summit, officials said. The Sheriff’s Office is not releasing the friend’s name because of a pending investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office has said there is nothing suspicious about the man’s involvement.
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Vanek’s family members remain silent.
On Monday, a family friend contacted U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard’s office seeking aid for the rescue, said Carolyn Williams, spokesperson for the Colorado Republican.
The senator found aid at the U.S. Defense Department, which sent an army helicopter to help with the search Tuesday, Williams said.
“This is something we would do for any constituent in this situation,” Williams said.
Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or email@example.com.