GRAND MESA, Colo. (CBS4) – Searchers on Colorado’s Western Slope are looking for two people who haven’t been heard from since Saturday. Authorities suspect the pair may have driven a snowcat onto a frozen lake in Delta County and fallen through the ice.
The pair were among four people who rented a room at the Grand Mesa Lodge. Their belongings were still in the room past the Saturday morning checkout time.
The owner of the lodge told Delta County investigators he heard a snowcat start at 1 a.m. Saturday.
A Delta County Sheriff’s office press release named local resident Ryan Wells, 30, as the person who booked the room and the person who drove a privately owned snowcat to the lodge.
A relative of Wells responded to the scene Saturday on a snowmobile and located snowcat tracks leading onto the ice of Island Lake a short distance from the lodge. That’s on the Delta County side of Grand Mesa. That family member located a large hole in the ice 150 yards from the shore.
Delta County Search and Rescue personnel did not find any footprints around the hole that would indicate someone would have escaped a submerged vehicle.
The owner of the lodge also advised investigators that Wells had inquired about driving the snowcat on ice when he arrived. The lodge owner told him that was not a good idea due to the weight of the 15,000-pound snowcat, according to DCSO’s press release.
Authorities were notified Sunday out of concern for four lodge occupants presumed missing. Soon after deputies arrived, however, the other two people, a male and a female, were later accounted for. Wells and another male were still missing.
Delta County Sheriff Mark Taylor sent out a statewide request for dive teams to help confirm if the snowcat is in the lake and also asked for assistance with the search for the two missing people. A Summit County rescue team was headed to the area with an unmanned underwater drone.
Grand Mesa Lodge recently posted on Facebook about its considerable snow depth after a storm.