From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 8, Number 15 - July 3, 1008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Search Continues For Missing Local

by Tiffany Turner

Since Garrett Bardin was reported missing on June 24, the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) and search and rescue teams, as well as many concerned citizens have been searching for and posting fliers in hopes of finding the 24-year-old Pinedale resident.

SCSO was able to locate Bardin’s 2006 Lincoln pick-up the first dayof the search, but since that time have had no tangible results in locating the missing man. The truck was roughly 35 miles southeast of Pinedale near the Old Dutch Joe Guard Station in the Wind River Mountains, with severe body damage and three bullet holes. According to SCSO, a forensic investigation was performed on the truck, but no evidence of injury or foul play was found inside.

“The three shots were fired into the vehicle in what appears a random pattern,” Undersheriff Jim Whinnery said. “It’s the sort of gunfire damage we often see in vandalism cases.”

Rumors have circulated that Bardin has been seen in the Rainbow encampment and is remaining there by choice and has not met with any harm. Whinnery states the SCSO has followed these leads but has been unable to verify them.

“Unfortunately, we cannot, as of today, absolutely confirm that through direct contact with Garrett, as much as we’d like to,” Whinnery said. “The question has been raised, ‘Why don’t authorities just search the Rainbow camp?’ but the fact is that simply isn’t possible.” “First of all, nolaw enforcement agency has the authority to carry out a sweep search of the camp, and even if we did, it would be the equivalent of doing a detailed house-to-house search of every home and business in Pinedale,” Whinnery added.“As of this morning, we estimate there are 4,000 people in the camp spread out over miles of rough terrain. It just can’t be done.”

The ground search for Bardin continues, although reduced. Tip Top Search and Rescue will continue to perform tight-scale grid searches of the area surrounding where Bardin’s truck was found.

According to a SCSO release, searchers plan to focus on Muddy Ridge, west of the location of Bardin’s vehicle’s recovery where search dogs previously alerted to his scent. Several local volunteers will also be searching the area on horseback.

SCSO deputies, detectives and law enforcement officers of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management continue to monitor the Rainbow Gathering for any information in helping to locate Bardin.

Bardin’s father, Sublette County Sheriff Wayne “Bardy” Bardin, expressed his deepest appreciation to those that have spent their time and effort in the search and rescue efforts that have continued over the past week in hopes of finding Garret. “Everyone has been so supportive and helpful, it’s hard to decide who to thank first,” he said. “People who have been out searching, putting out flyers... many have even offered to raise money for a reward. It’s times like this where you find out how many friends and neighbors you really have.”

The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office continues to ask anyone with information to call the SCSO at 307-367-4894 or 307-367-4378. Garrett Bardin is a 24-year-old white male, 5’11” in height, weighs about 175 pounds, and has short brown hair and hazel eyes.

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