Officials search again for missing Goliad man in Colorado park

Bianca Montes By Bianca Montes

Nov. 2, 2013 at 6:02 a.m.
Updated Nov. 3, 2013 at 5:03 a.m.

A suspended search for a Goliad man who has been missing since June in a Colorado park resumed Saturday in a final effort before winter weather hits the Rocky Mountain region.

Mitchell Dale Stehling, 51, was last seen hiking toward Spruce Tree House inside the Mesa Verde National Park, a memory his wife still clings to. She took a picture of him and then watched him descend the quarter-mile trail.

She never saw him again. And authorities ended their search Saturday without locating him.

Denean Stehling has returned to Colorado several times since her husband went missing. When she received a letter stating that search and rescue teams would make a final effort to locate her husband, she packed her bags and made the more than 16-hour drive to the park near Cortez, Colo.

The park had planned to search again Oct. 8, but the government shutdown caused the national park to close.

Stehling said slush is already on the ground at the park. According to the National Weather Service, the park was 61 degrees Saturday afternoon with an expected temperature drop to the mid-20s by Monday.

"I felt convicted that I needed to be here this time," Stehling said. "Life has to go on. Everything is just in God's hand - I need closure."



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