Remains of Missing Skiier Found in Colorado After Nearly 40 Years
Authorities have discovered the remains of a skier who went missing nearly 40 years ago in Rocky Mountain National Park.
9News reports that Rudi Moder, 27, disappeared in February of 1983, while he was on a night skiing trip near the Zimmerman Lake Trailhead over Thunder Pass. When he did not return to Fort Collins, where he was living at the time, after six days, his roommate reported him missing.
Rescue crews performed extensive searches for Moder in the days after his disappearance and the following spring and summer. While they discovered Moder's sleeping bag and food supply, they were unable to locate his body.
According to the station, authorities didn't receive another lead until the summer of 2020, when a hiker found human remains in Rocky Mountain National Park; however, investigators could not identify the skeleton due to complications from the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome Fires.
In the summer of 2021, rescuers were able to retrieve the remains, as well as items — including ski boots, ski poles, and skis — likely belonging to Moder.
Still, unclear dental records hindered identification efforts until this week, when authorities positively identified the remains after working with officials in Moder's native Germany.
"In the decades following Moder's disappearance, search efforts continue periodically by Rocky Mountain National Park staff and Larimer County Search and Rescue Teams," said Kyle Patterson, a spokesperson for Rocky Mountain National Park, in a press release. "The discovery and recovery of Rudi Moder's remains closes out a nearly four-decade long cold case at Rocky Mountain National Park."
The release did not say how Moder died, although CBS4 reports that an avalanche may have caused his death.
COLORADO WINTER WEATHER: Grand Junctions Historical First Freeze
LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades