Family helps search for 19-year-old missing snowboarder in Vail
VAIL, Colorado – Family members of Jasper “Jaz” McGrath flew in from Minnesota Tuesday night to help look for the 19-year-old snowboarder who has been missing since Jan. 6.
Janet Peterson, McGrath’s aunt, helped pass out flyers throughout Vail to try and find McGrath, who was last seen in West Vail on his way to go snowboarding.
Vail Police Sgt. Chris Botkins said calls came in Wednesday with more information about where he liked to snowboard, but unfortunately nobody knew anything more about where McGrath could have gone.
“I wish we had more to go on,” Botkins said.
Botkins said it would be hard to track down bus and town videos because nobody knows if he ever got onto a bus, which bus or when.
“We’d have to look through so much,” Botkins said.
Vail Mountain Rescue did a search outside of the ski boundaries, in areas McGrath was known to snowboard, which turned up nothing. Vail Ski Patrol also helped search within Vail ski boundaries, said Eagle County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly.
“We searched from Eagle’s Nest to Cascade, and we found two areas where a natural avalanche had occurred so we checked with probes,” Cordingly said.
Dan Smith, of Vail Mountain Rescue, said search crews need two important pieces of information – a point last seen and a direction of travel – and they have neither.
“There’s no reason to search anywhere else until there’s more information,” Smith said.
Cordingly said the lack of snow in the trees makes it hard to do a search, so until conditions improve or the police get more information about specific areas where they should search, everything is on hold.
Peterson said her nephew had friends out here that family members don’t know, so they’re hoping more people will come forward and help them look for McGrath. She said it was normal for him to take off with friends for a day or two, but more than a week is really worrisome.
McGrath was living with his brother, Joe, and family members say Jasper would have come back to his brother’s house by now to at least get a change of clothes or his toothbrush, she said.
“We feel pretty helpless,” Peterson said.
The family is going to keep passing out flyers and looking for Jasper McGrath throughout town until they find out what happened to him.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Jasper ‘Jaz’ McGrath should contact Vail Police at 970-479-2200. He was last seen wearing an Army-green snowboarding jacket, denim snowboarding pants and a black and white-striped hat.
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