Steamboat Springs man still missing after 2 weeks
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It’s been a frustrating 14 days for family members, friends, volunteers and members of the Steamboat Springs Police Department as they continue to search for missing Steamboat Springs resident Matthew Shelters.
“It literally breaks our heart. Every day we are talking to the family, which is, as you can imagine, very upset about this,” said Steamboat Police Chief Cory Christensen. “We appreciate the support that we have gotten, but we would like to find answers. We will take whatever we can to try to figure out where he is.”
Shelters, a 38-year-old Steamboat Springs resident, was last seen during the early morning hours of April 24. Surveillance video shows him leaving Back Door Grill on Oak Street in downtown Steamboat at 12:20 a.m., but other than that, very little is known about his whereabouts.
“Everybody is absolutely exhausted,” said Shelters’ brother, Nathan Shelters. “People are stepping back a little bit right now to go back to their family for awhile, to rest, and then, we will be trying to regroup. We have been meeting with police to go over what is going to happen next. We are struggling for information now, and there is complete and utter lack of information.”
A group of more than 50 people showed up Saturday to help search for the missing man. They scoured county roads and other locations.
Classic Air used a helicopter to search the length of the Yampa River from Steamboat Springs to Craig, and Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue also ran the river at least once, from the southeast end of town all the way to Milner, but found nothing.
Christensen said his department has approached several organizations to ask about using search dogs, but because of the length of time that has passed since Shelters vanished, the odds of success are very low.
Christensen said those searching for Matthew Shelters need a lead.
“There is no tip that is too silly; there is no tip that it too vague, that we will not, at the very least, figure out how to check into,” Christensen said.
Shelters is white, 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs about 170 pounds. He has a beard and was last seen wearing a dark hoodie, a dark-colored, flat-billed hat, brown pants and light-colored shoes.
Last weekend, officers in Kremmling were contacted by Steamboat Springs officers after someone reported a man who looked like Shelters walking along a road near that town. Christensen said the man was contacted by officers, but he was not Shelters.
Christensen is hoping a tip like that will lead to the missing man and bring the search to an end. He said those offering information could be eligible for a Crime Stoppers reward, and there is also a $7,500 reward for information about Shelters’ whereabouts.
People with any information are asked to contact Steamboat police by calling 970-879-1090.
Christensen said Shelters’ disappearance was entered into the state and national computer system. If he comes into contact with law enforcement, those officers will know immediately that he is listed as a missing person. Christensen added police are also gathering and reviewing security video from downtown businesses.
The police chief praised the efforts of volunteers.
“Their search grid has been pretty much exhausted at this point,” he said. “They have done a very comprehensive job — they have done an excellent job of being coordinated and organized.”
The group plans to continue the search Monday.
“We are working on developing a plan,” Nathan Shelters said. “We are staying positive, and we are staying hopeful.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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