Rescuers ended the search for a missing 3-year-old boy on Friday after a week of searching the rugged Colorado mountains.
Jaryd Atadero vanished while on a hike with his 6-year-old sister and 11 members of a Christian group who were staying at a cabin resort run by their father, Allyn Atadero, a physical education teacher.
Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden called off the search after a half-dozen searchers and a couple of dogs again failed to turn up any evidence of the boy’s location.
Since Jaryd’s tracks were not found, investigators believe he probably died of a fall in the rocky terrain or of exposure, as the nights have been in the 20s.
“At this point the likelihood of him being alive is none,” said Deputy Cindy Gordon.
The case could be reopened if new evidence is found, she said. The family printed fliers about Jaryd’s disappearance in the hope that hikers or hunters might find something, she said. Hunting season opens today.
Although she said earlier that searchers would be allowed back on the trail today to look for Jaryd on their own, Gordon said they cannot go back.
“The searchers need to get their lives back together,” she said. As many as 70 searchers, trackers and dog teams had tried to find the boy. Jaryd vanished when he ran ahead of one bunch of hikers and failed to catch up with a second group.