CARBON COUNTY – Drone technology, as well as boots on the ground, are being used in the continued search for Mark Anthony Strittmater, a 44-year-old Rawlins resident. He has been missing in the Sierra Madre Mountains since he went hunting alone on Oct. 19, south of Rawlins, along Forest Service Road 801.
The search was begun on the evening of Sunday, Oct. 20, when Kimberly Meis, his girlfriend, called the Carbon County Sheriff’s office to report an overdue hunter, according to a recent press release.
Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Opfar and Sergeant Brian Lally went to the area, in the Sierra Madre Mountains, west of Saratoga, where Strittmater had planned to go hunting.
“They located the (Strittmater truck) at 9:15 P.M. on Forest Road 801 (the Sage Creek/ Rawlins South Road) near Forest Road 830 (Deep Jack Creek Road,” the release states.
“Deputy Scott Allison established the Command Post” and a “grid search” for Strittmater began on the morning of Oct. 21 “due to the nightfall and the weather,” the night before.
The search began with “searchers on foot and in the air (with) the use of an Air Force helicopter, as well as a drone,” the release continues. “The air search continued throughout the night of the 21st and again on the 22nd.”
A helicopter from the 37th Helicopter Squadron from Warren Air Force Base did participate in this search. In a statement from the public affairs office at Warren, “The Air Force did participate in this search, with five flights over three days, and the subject was not found.”
According to a Thursday press release from the Carbon County Sheriffs office, the search was to continue yesterday. “Members from the Forest Service and BLM” as well as personnel from the Sheriff’s office are participating in this search.
The Carbon County Sheriff’s Office also reported that a Civil Air Patrol from Pinedale flew a fixed wing plane manned by three individuals yesterday over the area and that a search dog was deployed.
According to Encampment Fire Chief Cory Nuhn, the Upper Valley Search and Rescue Service has been providing some of its members to participate in the search. They also provided a dog to help in the search.
With only about eight inches of snow in the area, the searching is all on foot, according to Nuhn.