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Search continues for missing Salt Lake City man in Colorado wilderness

Posted at 9:40 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 23:40:43-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The family of 22-year-old Daniel Lamthach is hoping for his rescue and safe return.

“The only thing we care about is trying to get him home,” said Daniel’s older brother Kollan. “We know he wanted to be home, we know people have talked to him and stuff and he said, he meant to come home.”

According to the Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado, Daniel was last seen south of Silverton, Colorado at the Molas Lake area and had planned to go on a trail run. The following day on July 18th, his cell phone was found by hikers on Elk Creek Trail at the Vestal Peak trail confluence. The phone was found 3.5 miles from the Animas River.

“Just hearing detail after detail once we found his car, that’s when it really hit the fan,” said Kollan, who has been to the area to search with family and friends. “That area’s so rough and it’s vast, I mean there’s hundreds of trails that he could have gone on and we ran across so many different people and were just asking people if they had seen him and just not a lot of luck.”

Search and rescue operations began on July 21st, when he was reported missing by a ‘concerned friend’, according to OEM.

More than 800 hours of ground and aerial personnel have already been spent on the search.

“Whether Daniel’s found or not whatever the outcome is we appreciate everybody that’s really given us a hand and been there for us,” said Phillip Lamthach, Daniel’s younger brother.

Severe weather hampered the search on Wednesday, but when conditions improve, crews plan to visit remote drainage areas in the Weminuche Wilderness by using the Durango Narrow Gage Railroad for transport.

Kollan and his family are planning to re-visit the area on Thursday with backpacking search, preparing to spend days searching for Daniel.

“It was hard, you know, nobody wants to have to go through this ever,” said Kollan. “If anyone can make it, it’d be him you know but, but he needs us.”