Police exhaust search in Summit County
December 1, 2005
SUMMIT COUNTY ” Local police called off their search inside the county lines Thursday afternoon for Patricia McCormick, the 62-year-old Dillon woman missing since Monday.
“We feel at this point in time, we’ve pretty much exhausted all of our search efforts within the confines of Summit County, that we have adequately covered all the locations where a vehicle could potentially be, and so we’re pretty comfortable saying the vehicle itself is not in Summit County, as we speak,” Summit County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Derek Woodman said during a 2 p.m. press conference.
As of that time, Search and Rescue volunteers were still combing two areas ” one near Montezuma and another in Frey Gulch above the Landfill Road in Keystone ” on snowmobiles.
Woodman said those would be the final two locations police would look for McCormick in Summit County.
McCormick disappeared Monday after making a delivery at the Keystone Vehicle Maintenance Shop between 9:30 and 10 a.m. She was last seen driving a white, Ford short-bed NAPA Auto Parts delivery pick up, which has not been found.
Thursday morning, members of the county’s dive and rescue team drilled about a dozen holes through three inches of ice on Dillon Reservoir at the Snake River inlet near Swan Mountain Road.
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They lowered cameras 12 to 15 feet below the surface to exhaust the possibility that McCormick’s truck slid off the road and into the water, which has happened five or six times in the past 20 years at the same location, Woodman said.
Meanwhile, a group of rescuers drove a Hovercraft around the perimeter of the inlet peering into a stand of trees between the water and the road, while others explored the trees on foot to ensure the vehicle hadn’t rolled off the road before the guardrail begins.
Searching the reservoir was a last-ditch attempt to find McCormick in the county, and it was not probable rescuers were going to find anything, Woodman said.
“Typically, if you have a vehicle that would be in there, you’d get some oily or petroleum residue on top of the water, there’s nothing with that as well,” Woodman said.
The Frisco Police Department will continue to investigate McCormick’s disappearance by following up on new leads, and interviewing people who have known McCormick through the years.
Police are still looking into tips that have been called in from around the state, although nothing has materialized, Woodman said. The search will likely progress outside the state at some point, he added.
Woodman said McCormick’s disappearance is extremely bizarre, and has been taken seriously by police since they were notified she was missing Monday night.
“This isn’t a 21-year-old person out to have a good time and ends up spending the night at someone’s house. This is a 62-year-old lady who was in the middle of her duties of the day,” he said.
Woodman said he could not rule out an abduction, suicide or the possibility that McCormick walked away to start a new life somewhere else, although there has been no indication that anything of the sort happened, and police are still not considering foul play in the case.
Woodman said he believes McCormick will be found; he just doesn’t know when or how.
“Unfortunately, if she’s not located in the future, it’s going to end up being a cold missing persons case,” he said.
Police are asking to speak with anyone who knows Patricia McCormick or knew her in the past, so they can get a better idea of her hobbies and places she frequents. If you know McCormick or have any information on this case, call the Frisco Police Department at (970) 668-3579, dispatch at (970) 668-8600, or 911.