38 volunteers comb woods, roadsides for missing Snowmass Village man | PostIndependent.com

38 volunteers comb woods, roadsides for missing Snowmass Village man

Andre Salvail
Aspen Correspondent
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The whereabouts of missing Snowmass Village resident George Aldrich remained a mystery Thursday as a coordinated effort involving 38 volunteers, a helicopter, a search dog and an underwater remote-operated vehicle failed to turn up any new evidence.

Meanwhile, relatives and friends from his native Rhode Island continued another anxious day of hoping and waiting in an Aspen lodge for information that would lead to the discovery of Aldrich, 28, who was reported missing on Nov. 29. He was last seen the night of Nov. 27, disembarking a late-evening RFTA bus at the Truscott stop, which was not his destination, after hanging out with friends for a few hours at Eric’s Bar.

“We just want to find our brother – one way or another,” said Sean Aldrich, 36.

Choking back emotions, Sean described a younger brother who loves acting, marketing and snowboarding. George Aldrich was born the fourth of six children, three boys and three girls, and later attended LaSalle Academy in Providence, R.I., and Johnson and Wales University in Providence and Denver.

“He’s a great brother,” Sean Aldrich said. “When he was 14 or 15 he had his own TV show. He’s very charismatic. He enjoyed acting.

“I always used to tell my friends, he was the brightest and best-looking of the six.”

The family patriarch, George Aldrich Sr., also is in town. Thursday morning he went to the Brush Creek intercept lot to thank nearly 40 volunteer members of a search party that was about to scour local woods and roadways for clues that would lead to his son, who was employed as an Aspen Skiing Co. lift operator prior to his disappearance.

He last spoke to George Jr. on Thanksgiving Day, but the conversation was brief.

“I was on my way to the LaSalle-East Providence football game, which is about 85 years in the running,” said George Sr. “So I said, ‘I’ll talk to you later.’ When he called later, he spoke with his mother – it was just, ‘Tell everybody hello, everything’s fine’ – that type of conversation.”

Four days later, on Nov. 29, George Sr. got a call from Snowmass Police concerning the missing-person report. He flew out the next day and has been in Aspen ever since, passing out flyers at local grocery stores, speaking daily with local law-enforcement personnel and doing anything within his power to try to find his son.

“The police have been phenomenal,” said the elder Aldrich. “It’s nice that everyone in the community has been so concerned. We just hope that we can find him.”

Thursday’s search by 38 community volunteers was centered on three areas: the Highway 82 corridor from Snowmass Creek Road to the Pitkin/Eagle County line; Brush Creek Village (including Medicine Bow Road and Juniper Hill Road); and Owl Creek Valley, according to a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office news release.

In addition, a Robinson R44 helicopter, owned and piloted by Wayne Rudd, covered Brush Creek Valley, Owl Creek Valley and the Highway 82 corridor from just west of the intersection of Highway 133 in Carbondale to Aspen.

Authorities even employed a remote operated vehicle in the main pond of Snowmass Club Golf Course, as well as a search dog in the Brush Creek Road area, to no avail.

Weather permitting, search operations will continue today. A bloodhound from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office that had picked up George Jr.’s scent earlier this week near the Aspen Country Inn is expected to return. Areas targeted by the dog team will include “specifically chosen” bus stops and intersections along the Highway 82 corridor, said Aspen Police Sgt. Mike Tracey, who oversaw Thursday’s search with assistance from Pitkin County deputies.

Anyone with information about George Aldrich Jr.’s whereabouts or disappearance is urged to come forward by calling (970) 315-2103.


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