IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Rescue teams looking for a father and son from Minnesota who went missing last week near a Colorado mountain have received help from a military electronics investigation team who tracked cellphone signals that came from a campground.
Dozens of searchers have returned to an area about 50 miles west of Denver after investigators traced signals made on April 2, when one of the men told a friend they were going to scale a peak, Alpine Rescue Team spokesman Bill Barwick said Wednesday.
Based on the signals, authorities have narrowed a search area to the south and southwest part of a campground near Mount Evans, Barwick said.
The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center's electronics investigation team helped track the signals, he said.
According to the agency's website, the Air Force agency is allowed to conduct search and rescue missions in the lower 48 states and is authorized to get cellphone data for almost any emergency involving danger of death or serious injury.
On Tuesday, more than 50 searchers from nine Colorado search and rescue teams worked in snow more than 3 feet deep in places and in thick timber on the mountainsides, assisted by a helicopter that searched key areas of the mountain from the 10,000-foot elevation to more than 14,000 feet high.
Barwick said relatives of 51-year-old Damian McManus and 18-year-old Evan McManus are now in Colorado, but were not taking part in the search because of dangerous conditions. The rugged terrain has numerous trails that are slippery, rocky and covered in snow.
Mount Evans is 14,250 feet high and has one of the highest paved roads in North America. The road closes at the end of summer, when weather conditions can quickly become treacherous. The Echo Lake Campground, where their car was found, is at the base of the mountain.
The father and son are from St. Louis Park, Minn. Barwick said searchers weren't sure they were equipped for wintry conditions.
High winds forced a helicopter to end its search early Monday, and the threat of avalanches has prevented search teams from going into some areas, Barwick said.