Remains of German man missing for 38 years believed to be found in Colorado
- 27-year-old Rudi Moder was reported missing by his roomate in February 1983
- Park officials said that the search for Moder at the time was difficult as more than a foot of snow that covered the area
- In August 2020, a hiker found skeletal remains near the debris from an avalanche
Authorities believe the skeletal remains found in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park are that of a West German man who went missing during a ski trip 38 years ago. In February 1983, 27-year-old Rudi Moder was reported missing by his roommate in Fort Collins, Colorado after he did not return from a three-night trip over Thunder Pass into the Rocky Mountain National Park, officials said in a release on Thursday.
Park officials said that the search for Moder at the time was difficult as more than a foot of snow that covered the area hampered “search efforts in finding tracks and other clues,” CNN reported.
Over several days, search parties on the ground and in the air recovered several clues, including a food cache and a snow cave with his sleeping bag, but never found Moder.
The search included teams on skis and snowshoes, a dog trained to find people in avalanche debris and a helicopter. The search efforts continued in the spring and summer that year.
In August 2020, a hiker found skeletal remains near the debris from an avalanche. However, the investigation could not be completed as authorities were busy tackling issues like wildfires and high volumes of snow.
In the summer of 2021, skis, poles, boots as well as personal items were found that park rangers believed belonged to Moder. However, the Grand County Coroner’s office could not verify the identity from dental records.
The park rangers were assisted by the FBI Evidence Response Team in their search efforts.
Park officials are considering the case closed and are working with the German government to repatriate the remains.
“Officials have worked extensively with the German government for repatriation, family notification and dental record analysis,” the park said.
Last month, authorities found the human remains in a Massachusetts state park that belong to Elijah Lewis, a five-year-old from New Hampshire who had been missing for over a month.