Search for missing man continues after ‘heavily damaged’ vehicle found in flood plain

Posted at 4:07 PM, Sep 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-17 18:07:55-04

SOUTHERN UTAH — Search and rescue personnel from multiple agencies are working to locate a man from Hurricane who was reported missing after last being seen Monday night, and Wednesday afternoon authorities located the man’s “heavily damaged” vehicle in a flood plain.

Ryan Daniel Mertlich, 33, was last seen Monday leaving a relative’s home in Washington City. The man was believed to be driving back to his residence in Hurricane, and authorities state he is known to drive the back roads between the two towns.

The man was reported missing Tuesday, and on Wednesday Mohave County Search and Rescue units located the man’s vehicle about 3 miles south of the Utah border and 15 miles west of Colorado City, Arizona–where flash flooding killed numerous people Monday night.

The press release from search and rescue personnel states, “Mertlich’s vehicle was located in a flood plain, heavily damaged.”

Ground and aerial search efforts are continuing Thursday.

Mertlich is described as being a white man who stands 6-feet tall and weighs 210 pounds. He has hazel eyes, blond/sandy hair, and a stocky build. Anyone with information about the man or his whereabouts is asked to contact Hurricane City PD at 435-627-4999.