Volume 105, Number 27 - July 3, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
by Jennie Oemig
After many days of searching, 24-year old Garrett Bardin is still missing.
He was last seen on Saturday, June 21, headed south on US Hwy 191 in his 2006 Lincoln Mark LT 4x4 pickup.
Detective Dick Blust, who is serving as the public information officer for the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office for the duration of the Rainbow Gathering, issued an updated media release on Wednesday.
The pickup Bardin was driving was recovered on June 24 in a remote location about two miles from the old Dutch Joe Guard Station, near where the Rainbow Gathering is being held, with significant body damage including three bullet holes.
“The three shots were fired into the vehicle in what appears a random pattern," Sublette County Undersheriff Jim Whinnery said in a July 2 press release. "It’s the sort of gunfire damage we often see in vandalism cases.”
The truck was reportedly taken to a county facility where a forensic examination was conducted.
With Sublette County Sheriff’s Office personnel, as well as Sublette County Tip Top Search and Rescue and family members, scouring the area on horseback and with dogs, the search has turned up no results. On June 26, a fund was set up at 1st Bank in Pinedale to help with funding for the search and rescue teams looking for Bardin. Because the vehicle was found near the site of the Rainbow Gathering, there has been much speculation that Bardin is inside the camp, though Whinnery could not confirm or deny those assumptions.
"Unfortunately, we cannot, as of today, absolutely confirm that through direct contact with Garrett, as much as we’d like to,” he said. “ … No law 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.”
On Wednesday, rescue personnel from Tip Top Search and Rescue carried out another tight-scale grid search on both sides of the Big Sandy River.
Today, searchers will be focusing on Muddy Ridge, which is also in the vicinity of where his vehicle was found.
In the release issued Wednesday, Garrett’s father, Sublette County Sheriff Wayne “Bardy” Bardin expressed his gratitude for the efforts of the residents of Sublette County in trying to find Garrett.
"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."
Bardin is 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs approximately 175 pounds and has short brown hair and hazel eyes. If anyone has any information about his whereabouts, they are asked to call the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office at (307) 367-4894 or (307) 367-4378.
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