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Search and rescue crews continue search for father who went missing in Iron County

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Posted at 8:31 PM, Mar 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 09:22:26-04

IRON COUNTY, Utah -- Crews are resuming their search for a Cedar City man who disappeared Monday after his vehicle became stuck in a remote area of Iron County.

Daniel Michael Brown, 34, went missing Monday afternoon after he set out on foot to get help after his van got stuck in the mud near a remote area called Kane Springs. Brown left his wife and four children in the van. When he hadn’t returned by Tuesday morning, his wife called 911.

Search crews will be looking for Brown by ground and by air.

“The last known direction from the vehicle is east,” said Iron County Sheriff Lt. Del Schlosser. “Any direction from there within a mile to two miles is a roadway. We’d think he’d be able to make it to one of those roadways if that’s what he was looking for.”

Close to 30 search and rescue personnel scoured the hills Wednesday, but so far they say there are no indications Brown is anywhere close.

“From this point forward our concern is whether or not he’s in the area,” Schlosser said. “And if he is in the area, if he has survived through the conditions that we’ve experienced.”

Weather has been the biggest concern throughout the search. Tuesday’s snowstorm cut search efforts off early in the evening, and dropping nightly temperatures have crews worried about Brown’s safety. They say he has survival skills, but is not equipped for snowy conditions.

“Leaving with just a T-shirt, blue jeans and shoes,” Schlosser said. “When he left, those were ideal to be leaving with, within 2 hours and last night, obviously those conditions changed.”

Schlosser said Brown’s wife waited until Tuesday morning to call because she’d believed Brown took his cell phone with him. She found it in the car. She also had an inactive cell phone, but Schlosser said she didn’t know an emergency call could be made from an inactive device.

It’s still unclear why Brown didn’t call for help when the family had gotten stuck. Schlosser said the family had been living out of their car, with no known relatives for friends in the area.

Deputies say there’s a very real possibility someone picked up Brown. They’re asking anyone who may have seen him to contact the Iron County Sheriff’s Office at 435-867-7500.