79-year-old hunter mysteriously vanished as wife waited for him. Now he’s feared dead

Courtesy of the Shadid family

A 79-year-old man has been missing for over a week after he disappeared while scouting for an elk hunting spot in the Colorado wilderness, his family said.

Now rescue efforts are turning into a recovery effort for Jim Shadid’s body after eight days of scouring the San Juan Mountains, his daughter Jamie Shadid said in a Sept. 11 Facebook post.

“As tragic as this unexpected event is, there is something so beautiful thinking of our Papa resting in the mountains that he so dearly loved,” Jamie Shadid said in the post.

Her father was last seen Sept. 3.

He went on a brief hike to find a hunting spot near Line Canyon, leaving his wife in their truck, McClatchy News previously reported.

After about 45 minutes, he called her by a radio and said he would return in 20 minutes. He never did.

Search and rescuers have used drones, horses, helicopters, trained police dogs and ATVs to find the missing hunter, but he has not turned up, Jamie Shadid said.

On Sept. 11, rescuers halted daily searches and began looking for his body.

A technical crew will backpack into a “rugged and deep” part of the wilderness this weekend to follow the “few clues” that were found, Jamie Shadid said.

“His whereabouts and what happened remains a mystery,” she said.

Community members wanting to help search the area will be able to check a community search map when it’s added to findjimnow.com. Anyone will be able to “upload any foot traffic they do in the area, which will allow the search coverage to be ongoing.”

“Through our mourning, we know in our hearts that Papa is in his happy place, somewhere up there, his body returning to the Earth,” his daughter wrote in the post.

Jim Shadid was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, where he was a longtime dentist, The Wichita Eagle reported.

He moved to Durango, Colorado, with his family in the early 2000s after selling his dental business. He loved the outdoors and spent decades hunting.

“Hunting and skiing, and fishing, and camping and hiking. We had done it all,” his wife, Marilyn Shadid, told the news outlet Sept. 7. “We love Colorado.”

Michael Stavola of The Wichita Eagle contributed to this report.

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