Senior reported missing during spring break trip

Search continues for Evan and father Damian McManus

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Senior reported missing during spring break trip

Senior Evan McManus (9) joins his teammates in the starting lineup during a varsity soccer game last  fall.

Senior Evan McManus (9) joins his teammates in the starting lineup during a varsity soccer game last fall.

Noa Raasch

Senior Evan McManus (9) joins his teammates in the starting lineup during a varsity soccer game last fall.

Noa Raasch

Noa Raasch

Senior Evan McManus (9) joins his teammates in the starting lineup during a varsity soccer game last fall.

Ivy Kaplan

Since traveling to Colorado over spring break, senior Evan McManus and his father Damian have been reported missing after hiking at Echo Lake the afternoon of April 6, according to Bill Barwick, public information officer for the Alpine Rescue Team conducting the search.

Barwick said that in accordance with Colorado policies, local sheriffs conduct search and rescue procedures. The Clear Creek County sheriff notified the team Sunday afternoon that they discovered the McManus’ car after reports of them missing.

After receiving the news from the sheriff, searches began by the Alpine Rescue Team that day to find the father and son.

“We conducted search procedures Sunday afternoon until well after dark, and started again on Monday morning and continued throughout the day and at the end of the work cycle yesterday, we determined that we would start up again this morning at 8:30,” he said.

Barwick also said there was limited information left behind from the hikers for search team members to work with.

“We have no clues as to where they might have gone to,” Barwick said. “There is a sizeable peak right there at the base where they parked, but it is a 14,000 foot mountain and the vehicle was located at 10,600 feet so we don’t know where on Mount Evans they wanted to go or if they wanted to scale that peak.”

Besides actions taking place in Colorado, multiple groups and resources were established locally at Park to address the events.

In an effort to help students cope with their grief regarding the situation, counselors were available in C350 throughout the day April 7 for students to stop in and talk.

As more news becomes available on the state of Damian and Evan, counseling resources will continue to address and support students, according to counselor Barb Nelson.

“We are hopeful for good news, but know we need to be prepared for whatever news is shared,” Nelson said. “Support staff will continue to be available as long as necessary to assist our school in dealing with this heart wrenching situation.”

In addition to school efforts, senior Ellyn Adelmann organized a Facebook group, MISSING: DAMIAN AND EVAN MCMANUS, for community members to share their support for the McManus family.

“The idea came to me of making a Facebook group because that was the way that I knew how to contact large numbers of people really easily,” Adelmann said. “My brother lives in Denver, and so I thought that if I make this then he could join in and add people from Denver and maybe by some crazy coincidence they could recognize them and see them on the trail or something like that.”

Adelmann said the popularity of the group was much more than she initially expected and she believes it provides members with valuable information.

“I never expected that this many people would be involved with it,” Adelmann said. “I was expecting some people to share their concerns for the family, but then it kind of became an update system for people to get official updates about it, which has really been helpful for everybody I think.”

Consisting of over 4,000 members as of April 8, posts have continued to accumulate, consisting of everything from hopes and prayers for the family, to photos and maps of the area, to the most recent updates heard from individuals.

Senior and friend of Evan, Luke VonEschen said initially the news shocked him and thinks these efforts by the school and community are helpful to distressed students.

“More than anything I think I was just shocked, and I couldn’t really wrap my head around it,” VonEschen said. “Any help is nice, but it’s also just good to keep things running smoothly and to keep your attention away from the whole ordeal.”

Barwick said as time progresses, the sheriff in Clear Creek County will determine what actions will be taken.

“The typical protocol is to try to exhaust all possibilities of location and after so many days of searching, the sheriff will determine we have no reason to continue or we have evidence to continue searching this area,” he said. “Until such time has determined we have exhausted all possible avenues, then the search will be called off.”

A McManus Family Fund has also been established at Citizens Independent Bank for those who wish to donate and show support for the family, according to Citizens employee Lambert Lum.

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