- An extensive search has been conducted over the river and its banks where Phillips’ belongings were found.
- Phillips’ black Ford F-150 and hunting dog were found along with other items near the Gunnison river by South River Road.
On December 21, Wayne Phillips, a 51-year-old man, went out for a day of duck hunting in the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area but has yet to return home.
His family reported him missing around 6 p.m. and conducted their search of the area before contacting the authorities. Phillips’ black Ford F-150 and hunting dog were found along with other items near the Gunnison river by South River Road.
The Delta County Search and Rescue Team covered the area on foot and with a drone but could not locate Phillips.
Since then, various organizations, including the Hotchkiss Fire Department, West Elk Mountain Rescue, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Search and Rescue Dogs of Colorado, Mesa County Search and Rescue, and family members have assisted in the search efforts but to no avail as of December 30th.
An extensive search has been conducted over the river and its banks where Phillips’ belongings were found. Probes, underwater cameras, and sonar were used to search the area.
Drones, fixed-wing aircraft, and a San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office helicopter also conducted air searches. Despite inclement weather causing a reduction in search efforts this week, officials remain committed to helping the Phillips family find their loved one.
On Tuesday, items belonging to 23-year-old Tyler Doyle, another missing duck hunter, were found off the coast of Ocean Isle Beach.
Tyler’s wife, Lakelyn, posted on Facebook that his items were found two miles east of the beach and asked for help searching the area.
She shared the coordinates of where the waders were located and expressed her sadness and prayers for her husband’s safe return.
Community members like Sandra Bolick have been participating in the search efforts, hoping to reunite Tyler with his wife, friends, and family.