Eagle County local Rodney Davis reported missing in Mexico

Davis has not been seen since departing from his campground on the Baja Peninsula on Tuesday, Oct. 25

Carolyn Paletta
Vail Daily

EAGLE COUNTY — Longtime Eagle County local Rodney Davis, 73, has been missing for a week after disappearing near Loreto, Mexico, on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Davis, who has lived in the valley since the 1970s, has spent the last 10 winters at a campground called ​​Juncalito Beach, located on the Baja Peninsula, with a group of retirees who regularly camp together.

Davis arrived at Juncalito Beach from Colorado on Saturday, Oct. 22. He left the campground around 9 a.m. on Tuesday in his beige 2008 Toyota Tundra, accompanied by his dog, a springer spaniel named Rio. He told friends he was going to Loreto to find a part to fix his broken solar panel and that he would be back in a few hours, but he never returned.

Dagmar Huber, Davis’ ex-wife and a resident of Edwards, said that friends from the campground contacted the authorities within 48 hours of his disappearance, but local police have been unable to locate Davis, his dog or his vehicle in the days since. The FBI was able to trace the location on his iPhone until the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 26, when tracking was turned off and his passwords were changed.

“We are actively following that path,” Huber said. “They took some backcountry roads to get to another city. We have no idea if they were in Rod’s truck, we have no idea if Rod and his dog are alive or not. We don’t know if they are with them, or if they dropped them off or killed them. We just don’t know.”

Huber said that Davis’ bank records show that someone began withdrawing money from his account through cash withdrawals and gas purchases starting in the afternoon of Oct. 25. By the following day, his account was drained and in overdraft. The final charges on Davis’ debit card that Huber said they believe to be his took place that morning at the marina near Juncalito Beach where he keeps his boat.

“We don’t believe he ever got to the place to fix his solar panels, and by that afternoon somebody had started withdrawing money from his bank account,” Huber said.

Charlie Ebel, a resident of Vail, has spent past winters in the Loreto area camping with Davis and his group, and said that it is not an area where disappearances like this are common or expected.

“My impression is that the Loreto area is extremely safe,” Ebel said. “It’s a tourist area, and in the past if you weren’t smuggling drugs or guns or something they were pretty good at leaving the tourists alone. All of Mexico has a petty theft problem, you don’t want to be wandering around drunk in the middle of the night, but if you take minimal precautions you’re really pretty safe.”

Huber said that it would be out of character for Davis, who worked as a ski patroller, raft guide and hunting guide for many years in Eagle County, not to contact someone if he was in trouble or planned to delay his trip home.

“He’s like the lead guy that has medical experience and safety protocol and he just wouldn’t take off and not contact people,” Huber said. “He would have contacted us if he could have.”

Lauren Quinn, Davis’ landlord in Rancho del Rio where he lives while working as a raft guide for Timberline Tours during the summer, posted a description of Davis’ disappearance with photos of him and his dog on the Facebook page “Talk Baja.” The post has already been shared over 2,000 times, but thus far there have been no sightings of them or the truck.

“There are people everywhere looking for him,” Huber said. “Every person that goes to Baja, in every part of Baja, seems to be aware. He has literally vanished without a trace.”

Quinn and Huber are asking anyone in or with connections to the Baja area to keep an eye out for Davis and Rio, and to contact Huber at 970-376-1189 with any information or resources that may be useful in the search.

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