An intensive five-day search has failed to locate missing hunter Alvie Webb, 86, who was last seen on the morning of Oct. 19 in the Divide Road-Roaring Fork area of the San Juan National Forest.
Webb’s last known location was at a trail that begins at the end of Road 564A, a spur of the Divide Road (Forest Road 564). The rugged, mountainous area is west of the Colorado Trail, and 4 miles south of Rico.
Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin said the county search and rescue team, deputies and K-9 Search and Rescue team, and friends and family of Webb conducted an on-the-ground search of the area, but nothing was found.
“We looked all over and searched a large area 30 yards at a time, but there was no sign of him, no clues,” said Sheriff Steve Nowlin.
A Blackhawk helicopter, Flight for Life helicopter and Civil Air Patrol plane also searched the heavily wooded area from the air.
The official search has been called off, but family and friends are still searching the area. If clues are found, the official search will resume, Nowlin said.
Webb, of Muldrow, Oklahoma, was on a hunting trip with his son and others. The party camped on Road 564A.
On Oct. 19, Webb was left alone to hunt on a trail at the end of 564A near a meadow where he hunted last year. The unnamed trail meets up with the Roaring Fork Road (Forest Road 435) after about 2 miles.
When hunting party members checked on Webb several hours later, they could not locate him. After an initial search of the area came up empty, the hunters contacted local law enforcement, and a larger search mission was launched.
Nowlin said Webb has a cellphone but it is apparently turned off or the battery ran down. It was last used Friday, the day before he went missing. Officials have been attempting to pick up the signal but with no luck.
The hunting party heard a gunshot coming from the general area where Webb was around 9 a.m., Nowlin said, but no evidence was found of a shot animal.
Webb has some trouble walking and was not expected to hike a long distance, Nowlin said, so it is puzzling why he could not be located after an intense search in the vicinity of the trail.
The search included Montezuma County Search and Rescue, Montezuma County Sheriff deputies, K-9 Search and Rescue, Flight for Life Colorado, Mesa Verde Civil Air Patrol, Colorado National Guard Blackhawk helicopter, and family and friends.
Webb was wearing an orange stocking cap, and orange hunter vest over a heavy camouflaged jacket. He had a few food bars and water, but no overnight gear.
Anyone searching for Webb is advised to be prepared with appropriate outdoor gear, food and water, and to search with a partner. To report information regarding Webb’s whereabouts, contact the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 565-8452, or dispatch at (970) 565-8454.