Authorities’ optimism has given way to expecting the worst-case
scenario for missing hunter Terry Baughn.
“We’re confident we’re strictly in a body recovery mode at this
time,” said Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee on Monday, the sixth day
since Baughn, 73, was last seen in the Leroux Creek area northwest
“I believe in miracles, but I believe we have to be reasonable
and assume the person did not survive. Obviously, for some reason,
he’s unable to do anything to alert us, or help himself. There’s
obviously some other issue involved,” the sheriff said.
Baughn has decades of hunting experience. The Ohio man has hunted
the Leroux Creek area in the past, and was with two hunting
companions Oct. 25, when the weather was fair. They had planned a
short hunt that afternoon, so Baughn took basic gear with him when
he left camp.
When he hadn’t returned, his friends alerted authorities at about
Oct. 26. They led searchers to Baughn’s all-terrain vehicle, and
with the weather turning, a massive ground search was launched in
the steep, heavily forested terrain.
At least 10 inches of snow has fallen since Baughn’s vanishing,
covering whatever signs he could have left to indicate his direction
of travel. The terrain, coupled with the weather, makes for a
daunting search, McKee said.
Baughn’s friends had been with him, and authorities know exactly
the area to search — they just have not been able to find him, as of
last report Monday.
“That’s the most frustrating part. We have a very good last-seen
area,” the sheriff said.
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