WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Dive teams have searched one pond near a hotel where a Westminster man was last seen early Sunday morning and have plans to search another body of water on the hotel property.
John Luke Edwards was last seen at an office Christmas party at the Westin Hotel off Highway 36 near Promenade Drive and Westminster Boulevard at about 3 a.m. Sunday.
Westminster police and the West Metro Dive Team searched the man-made pond in front of the hotel on Wednesday morning for Edwards.
The pond is about 16 feet deep and very cold. Dive teams used sonar equipment during their search which turned up nothing. Searchers had to use shovels to break sheets of ice on the pond.
Edwards’ stepfather said his disappearance is very out of the ordinary.
“The company paid for rooms for all their employees to stay here during the party and so we didn’t expect him home Sunday or Monday, but his girlfriend called to question if we had heard from him and we hadn’t, and that was on Monday afternoon. So we started getting concerned, obviously,” said Edwards’ stepfather Duane Fisher.
Edwards may have been last seen around 3 a.m. Sunday in one of the hotel corridors and may have been intoxicated.
Edwards, 36, is from Westminster. He is described as 6-foot-1, 190 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He’s the father of two daughters, ages 5 and 3 and worked for Mark Young Construction in Frederick.
“He hadn’t even gone back to his room that night; his bed wasn’t even messed up. But his clothes, his keys to his truck and everything was still in the room from when he checked in,” Fisher said. “The last information that anybody had of him, or seen him, was like 3 a.m.”
Edwards apparently left a key to his hotel room for his girlfriend. She went to the room, but he never showed up. His truck was still in the hotel parking lot on Tuesday.
Dive teams moved their search to another body of water in the rear of the hotel on Wednesday afternoon. They also used sonar equipment during that search. They plan to continue searching other bodies of water on Thursday.
Police haven’t found Edwards’ wallet or cellphone. His cellphone would be a great tool in helping find him but his battery either died or he turned his phone off at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, so it’s not able to be tracked.
“It is very difficult to be here. You hope for the best but have to expect the worst,” Fisher said.
Police say they don’t suspect foul play in his disappearance, but his brother, Andrew Edwards in Grand Junction, told CBS4′s Jodi Brooks by phone that he isn’t so sure.
“It’s just hard. It’s just unbelievable. It would never happen to Luke,” Andrew Edwards said.
He said he believes something suspicious had to happen for police to be searching ponds.
Crews will also continue their ground search on and around the hotel grounds on Thursday. There is some very tall brush in spots that searchers believe needs to be examined once again.