The size and scope of federal land holdings in this country — including national parks, monuments and more — is so vast that people can venture into them and literally disappear. Note the case of Dale Strehling, who went for a hike in Mesa Verde circa June 2013 and hasn’t been seen since. Yet there’s currently no national database for missing persons — and a Regis University instructor would like to change that.
According to The Mancos Times, Streling and his wife, Denean, came to Colorado from their home in Goliad, Texas, to take part in what’s described as an “‘adult only’ 21 day vacation visiting national parks.” On June 9, 2013, they were at Mesa Verde for day four of the tour, having traveled there from Four Corners.
That’s when Dale told Denean that he was heading off on a hike to the Spruce Tree House ruin, an attraction whose path is reportedly steep but just a quarter-mile long. But he didn’t return, and after two hours, Denean raised an alarm, setting off a two-week search that included as many as sixty rescuers, plus helicopters, two dog teams and rope teams that rappelled off cliffs in the vicinity.
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