Whereabouts of New Castle woman still a mystery
GOLBIN VALLEY, Utah ” Rose Backhaus still hasn’t been located after going missing in Utah on Nov. 16.
Bachkaus’ son, Michael Backhaus, said a formal memorial or funeral service will be held in the future once his mother is found.
“Obviously it’s hard. She was my mom. I was very close to her. I’ve already come to grips with the fact that she’s no longer here,” he said. “As far as totally letting her go, letting it lie the way it is, that’s really unacceptable to me. I won’t stop looking for her, even if Emery County does. I don’t care if I’m the last person out there looking for her. I will find her.”
Rose Backhaus, 54, of New Castle, was last seen checking out of the La Quinta Inn in Moab the morning of Nov. 16. Authorities discovered her Ford Explorer Nov. 24 at Goblin Valley State Park, about 70 miles west of Moab. Repeated searches of the area by airplane, helicopter, by foot, and with the help of dogs were unsuccessful.
A witness told the sheriff’s office there that Backhaus was seen walking into Little Wild Horse Canyon, part of a popular loop trail. Notes in Backhaus’ vehicle reportedly said she’d arrived at Goblin Valley State Park Nov. 16 and was happy.
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Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon couldn’t be immediately reached. He has said in the past that he wouldn’t stop searching until Backhaus is found. His office was reportedly planning another search this coming weekend.
Backhaus was from Denver and lived in the Glenwood Springs area for several years. She worked at Copy Copy in Glenwood Springs. A group of around seven of Rose Backhaus’ friends visited Goblin Valley State Park last weekend.
“They wanted to actually see where she went missing and say their own little goodbyes,” said Deb Davis, who was Backhaus’ girlfriend.
Davis said it’s hard to say goodbye when it’s unclear what exactly happened to Backhaus.
“I don’t think she was in the canyon when she went missing,” Davis said. “The extent of the search done ” they should have been able to find something. … I don’t understand why they haven’t seen anything. It is frustrating.”
Jim Gisburne was part of the group that visited the park last weekend. He worked for Backhaus at Copy Copy and became friends and hiking buddies with her.
“It was a time for me to see how and why she liked Utah so much, and now I understand,” he said.
Backhaus was a good person who was very friendly and loved her grandchildren, Gisburne said.
“She loved her grandchildren. That’s all she ever talked about. That was her life,” Gisburne added.
Backhaus was an avid hiker. Friends and family said she was a strong-willed, independent person who loved life and being around people. Davis liked Backhaus’ sense of humor and adventure. They spent nearly every weekend touring or hiking places from the Flat Tops to Durango and Georgetown to Moab. Backhaus had more than 95,000 miles on her 2004 vehicle.
Davis said, “I hope that she finds peace. I really think that the only way that she’s going to find that is when we find her and we’re able to put her to rest.”
Michael Backhaus has gone to the area and conducted searches himself. He said, “I won’t stop searching that park until she is found and I make sure she’s put to rest in a respectful manner.”
Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121