Sweetwater County, Wyo. – In a special release today, Sweetwater County Sheriff Mike Lowell provided details of Saturday’s search for Terry Meador in the Pine Mountain area south of Rock Springs.
Meador, 74, of Rock Springs, was reported missing to the Rock Springs Police Department on October 25 after he did not return from a solo hunting trip. His unoccupied vehicle, a 2013 Chevrolet pickup, was found badly stuck approximately 2 3/4 miles north of the summit of Pine Mountain.
Ground units, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopter searches on and around Pine Mountain by county deputies, Sweetwater County Search & Rescue, and family members and friends on October 26, 27, and 28 were unsuccessful, and ground and fixed-wing aircraft searches on the 29th and 30th also produced negative results.
Knowing that storm conditions were forecast for today, Lowell put out a call for volunteers for a search on Saturday, November 3, to stay ahead of adverse weather.
“Over 150 people volunteered,” Lowell said. “The public’s response was wonderful; it was standing room only in the Sheriff’s Office training room for the 7:00 AM search briefing on Saturday.”
Once they were briefed and provided with maps, teams were created, assigned specific search areas, and deployed on and around Pine Mountain. Participating were sheriff’s deputies, the volunteers, canine teams, (including Capital City Canine Search & Rescue of Cheyenne), Sweetwater County Search & Rescue, a team from Tip Top Search & Rescue of Pinedale, and a helicopter provided by University of Utah Air Med.
Saturday’s search was completed in the afternoon, and Sheriff’s Office units confirmed that all searchers were accounted for and off the mountain by about 4:00 PM.
“Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful,” said Lowell. “We were unable to locate Mr. Meador or any additional clues to his route or whereabouts after he left his vehicle.”
The areas searched on October 26-30, plus Saturday’s search, total over 60 square miles.
“I want to thank everyone who helped with the searches, particularly Saturday’s volunteers,” Lowell said. “I met with many of you on the mountain Saturday, and you all did a great job.” He also expressed his appreciation to Sweetwater County Search & Rescue, Tip Top Search & Rescue, Capital City Canine Search & Rescue, and University of Utah Air Med.
The Sheriff’s Office recognizes that people will wish to conduct searches of their own, but cautions that weather and ground conditions will now become steadily worse, creating potential danger. “If you do choose to search on your own, make it a careful, well-thought-out decision and plan accordingly,” Lowell said. “Be properly equipped and, equally important, let someone know where you will be and when you plan to return.”