Several agencies in Colorado searching for overdue hiker from SLC

Jul 23, 2022, 11:13 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2023, 2:50 pm
(Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado/Facebook)...
(Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado/Facebook)
(Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado/Facebook)

UPDATE: The search operation for 22-year-old Daniel Lamthach of Salt Lake City, Utah, has been temporarily suspended “until more information, signs of Daniel or clues come into light,” according to the Office of Emergency Management in San Juan County, Colorado.

“The heavy use of resources in the initial stages of this search operation are valuable to all of Southwest Colorado. At this time, we will no longer be utilizing these resources in order to keep them available for our neighboring communities. If more information or clues are found in connection with Daniel, we will certainly activate those resources again,” said Cameron Crowell with Silverton Medical Rescue.

Melissa Flynn, who is also with Silverton Medical Rescue, said, “Not being able to find a missing person is really hard to deal with emotionally, physically and mentally as a rescuer. Our team has put in the energy to extensively search and follow up on all the possible leads we’ve received, and we have also searched areas with even a remote possibility that Daniel could be there.”

Flynn added that even though operations have been suspended, crews will always be on the lookout for Daniel.

The news comes after six search and rescue team members went into the 10-mile creek area over the weekend to search for him.

“The team spent the weekend camped out in the high country and after two nights half the team came out Sunday while the rest of the SAR team came out by train on Monday August 1st, 2022, after three nights. There were no signs of Daniel Lamthach after an intense ground search by the SAR team,” read a Monday night Facebook post from the agency.

SAN JUAN COUNTY, Colo. — Several agencies in Colorado continued their search operation Saturday for a 22-year-old hiker from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Officials with the Office of Emergency Management in San Juan County, Colorado, say the search began at 5:55 p.m. Thursday after a concerned friend of Daniel Lamthach’s contacted the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.

“Through interviews with friends, it is estimated that Daniel planned to hike in the Trinity Peaks area of the San Juan National Forest. He did not leave a plan of his trip or an estimated return date,” the missing person poster states.

On Sunday, July 17, the 22-year-old’s car was found in the Molas Lake Parking area.

Some time later, search and rescue crews received information that Lamthach’s cellphone was located by another hiker on the Elk Creek Trail heading towards the Trinity Peaks area.

An aerial search was conducted in that area Thursday. It was called off that night, however, due to darkness and cloud cover.


(Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado/Facebook)

Early the next morning, crews were back searching for Lamthach.

“On Friday morning, Flight for Life dropped 4 SJC SAR team members in the wilderness area of Trinity Peaks who conducted a ground search. The SAR team members were pulled out of the ground search in the late afternoon due to severe thunderstorm activity,” read a Saturday afternoon Facebook post from the Office of Emergency Management.

The search resumed Saturday with both aerial and ground teams, according to San Juan County officials.

“The hiker was lightly prepared for a day hike and seemed not to be prepared for overnight or a long period in the wilderness due to the contents found in his vehicle,” the post stated.

(Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado/Facebook)

Several agencies are currently involved in the search operation:
  • San Juan County Sheriff’s Office
  • Flight for Life
  • Division of Fire Protection and Control (DFPC) Multi Mission fixed wing aircraft
  • La Plata County Search & Rescue
  • Silverton Medical Rescue Team (including San Juan County Search & Rescue team and Silverton Ambulance crew all working with the U.S. Forest Service)
(Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado/Facebook) (Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado/Facebook) (Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado/Facebook) (Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado/Facebook)


Officials say the last point of contact with Lamthach was on Saturday, July 16.

“When you are going into the backcountry, especially alone, make sure you have proper gear to stay overnight, carry devices to call for help such as a Garmin InReach or SPOT device, and most importantly communicate your route/trip plan as well as expected return time with someone. Even if you are planning to go on a simple day hike or run and you are a very experienced mountain adventurer, these mountains are rugged and unpredictable. The more we know, the more we can help,” said Melissa Flynn with Silverton Medical Rescue.

Lamthach is described as 5 feet 4, 130 pounds, with long black hair.

Anyone with information about Lamthach’s whereabouts has been asked to contact the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office at 970-387-5531.

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Several agencies in Colorado searching for overdue hiker from SLC