Backcountry skiers find body of missing hiker
Eagle County — Backcountry skiers found a body that authorities believe is an Indiana man who went missing during a hut trip last month near Vail.
The body is likely that of Dr. James McGrogan, although the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office is waiting for the county coroner to make a positive identification. However, McGrogan was the only one lost in that area, and his gear was the same as that which McGrogan’s friends said he was carrying when he became separated during a backcountry trip to the Eiseman Hut, authorities said.
McGrogan, 39, of Chesterton, Ind., went missing on March 14. He was an emergency room doctor in his hometown.
Booth Falls is located approximately 4½ miles east of the trail that leads to the Eiseman Hut.
Rescue crews of 110 people total spent more than 1,000 man hours scouring the 18-square-mile area. National Guard helicopter pilots spent 30 hours searching from the air.
McGrogan’s three friends started the search when they reached the hut and realized he was not around.
One of the most frustrating things, searchers said, was that they could see Vail from the search area.
The terrain is rugged where McGrogan disappeared, they said.
The search was called off after lasting five days with no clues.
He loved snowboarding and adventure, his mother told reporters. When he was reported missing, his family came to the area to help with the search.
He and his wife are the parents of two small children.
He and his family had recently moved from Wisconsin to his hometown for his job with a local hospital.