Volume 6, Number 25 - September 14, 2006
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Search goes on for lost Cheyenne man
The search for Wyoming State Public Defender Ken Koski goes on this week and will go on “until every possibility is exhausted.” That’s what Sublette County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Hanson said Tuesday at the command post, located about half a mile from the Big Sandy Trailhead and nearly 55 miles from Pinedale.
A crew of about 70 fills the camp at night for the ritual debriefing and discovery to build a plan for the next day of searching for Koski.
The 56-year-old Cheyenne resident went backpacking in the Wind River Mountains and was to check in with his family Saturday night when he made it to the trailhead.
A release from Deputy State Public Defender D. Terry Rogers that alerted media to the search reported that Koski is an experienced backpacker and camper and is familiar with the Wind River Range.
At 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office received a report from Big Sandy Lodge personnel regarding an abandoned camp found in the Pyramid Lake area in the Bridger Wilderness.
According to a press release from SCSO, a journal was found inside a tent that was found Saturday along with other items. The last entry was Sept. 5, two days after Koski was last seen by an acquaintance on the trail to Pyramid Lake.
Hanson said that search and rescue operations started Saturday as teams of two and three persons beginning the search. A command vehicle was brought to the staging area Sunday. Monday, Teton and Fremont county search and rescue teams showed up.
Hanson said that the two bordering counties joined the effort at the request of Sublette County to help in covering the vast area, and each of the three commands offers something different to help in the effort that is now working in a unified command as part of the National Incident Management System.
Three Evergreen helicopters are also aiding the search efforts, flying searchers and two K-9 teams into the five-mile search area that is more than 13 miles in from the trailhead.
“To save our resources, these guys are being ferried in,” Hanson said.
A fourth helicopter was at the site Tuesday, having brought in a repeater from Homeland Security to bolster the area communications.
“We’ve had phenomenal response,” Hanson said of the volunteers and organizations helping out.
He said a lot of people have been calling to offer services as well and the command post is building a list for additional resources. However, help from the general public has also been tough in that the helicopters can only carry trained personnel. Locals offering a hand can still help, but they have to walk in the distance that the searchers are flown.
The terrain of the search includes more than 1,000 feet of elevation changes from more than 9,200 feet at the trailhead to more than 10,500 feet in the search area along the well-used trails that are also filled with valleys and bowls.
While members of Koski’s family were at the command post, they were not granting interviews. Hanson also said that Koski’s son and a few friends had joined the search as well.
“We can’t stop them from going in to search,” he said, but the men were given designated area, “so we’re not going in to search for somebody else.”
SCSO issued a missing person bulletin for Koski Tuesday afternoon. Koski is 5’ 8” tall, weighing 165 pounds, with brown hair, hazel eyes and wearing silver glasses. His clothing included green wool pants, a red T-shirt, gray/blue pullover jacket, bright-colored headband, orange stocking cap, vibram-soled boots and a heavy orange coat. SCSO requests that anyone with information regading Koski call the sheriff’s office at 307-367-4378, ext. 0.
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