Search intensifies for missing Steamboat Springs resident
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Search efforts have intensified, and a reward is now being offered for help to find Steamboat Springs resident Matthew Shelters.
On Tuesday, members of the Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue swift-water team found no signs of the 38-year-old after searching the Yampa River from Rotary Park to Milner.
“The Steamboat Springs Police Department continues to work closely with the family of Mr. Shelters,” Commander Annette Dopplick wrote in an email. “Our entire team has been tenaciously following-up on all possibilities.”
On Monday, about 75 people met at Old Town Pub to establish search grids and discuss strategy for finding Shelters.
“There is a lot of compassion, that’s for sure,” Old Town Pub owner Sean Regan said.
Police have been trying to gather any video footage that may offer clues.
Residents and business owners were asked to review any video footage they had from late April 23 to early April 24.
Family members have said Shelters was last seen leaving Back Door Grill on foot sometime after midnight April 24.
Police have reviewed video footage from Back Door Grill showing Shelters at 12:20 a.m.
He lives at The Flour Mill apartments along the Yampa River, and his apartment is undisturbed, according to family.
Police were first contacted about Shelters on Friday.
They are still reviewing video footage from The Flour Mill, but they have not found footage of Shelters there after leaving Back Door Grill.
Police have not found any evidence to indicate a crime has occurred.
“A video canvas, digital forensics and witness interviews are ongoing,” Dopplick said.
Social media is being used as a tool to help with the search.
A Facebook page called Search for Shelters has been set up and advertises a $2,500 reward. More than 1,000 people “liked” the page in the first 18 hours after it was set up.
People have shared where they have searched and where they plan to search.
There were also people meeting in Denver on Tuesday to plan poster distribution on the Front Range.
A fundraising website has been established to help with costs associated with the search. As of Monday evening, more than $5,600 had been raised.
Search efforts — on both land and water— have expanded to beyond the Steamboat area to include Hayden, Craig, Kremmling and Silverthorne.
“A well-coordinated group of friends and community members have been a valuable addition to our local search and investigation,” Dopplick said. “We encourage all volunteers to be mindful of their own safety while on and or near the Yampa River.”
Police were not searching for any vehicles associated with Shelters’ disappearance.
Shelters is white, 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs about 170 pounds. He has a beard and was last seen wearing a dark hoodie, a dark-colored, flat-billed hat, brown pants and light-colored shoes.
People with any information are asked to contact Steamboat police by calling 970-879-1090.
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