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Large crew to search 18-mile stretch of Poudre Canyon Saturday for woman still missing in July mudslide

family cabin destroyed in poudre canyon mudslide.png
Posted at 12:51 PM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 14:51:18-04

DENVER – A crew of 120 people will search an 18-mile stretch of Poudre Canyon Saturday for the woman missing for nearly two months after flash floods and mudslides swept through the area in July, killing three others.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said the search efforts to find Diana Brown will start at 8 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m. or until she is found. Crews will search Poudre Canyon between Black Hollow Road and Steven’s Gulch Picnic Site.

Crews from across Larimer County, the U.S. Forest Service and more will being using various specialized equipment, dogs and drones to search the river, shoreline and road along Highway 14, the sheriff’s office said.

“If you are passing through the area, be prepared for delays on that section of Highway 14 and drive slowly to protect the searchers while they do their work,” said Jered Kramer, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office. “Please do not come to the canyon to assist, our partner agencies are ensuring we will have sufficient resources on the scene for a thorough and safe search operation.”

Two of the other victims have been identified previously as Patricia Brown, 59, of Madison, Wisconsin and David Brown, 61, of San Antonio, Texas. Another man was also killed when a mudslide tore down Black Hollow Road and spilled into the Poudre River on July 20. Crews suspended search operations on July 28.

Bret Calvert, a longtime friend of David Brown, said Diana and David, who were married, were at the cabin on Black Hollow Road with his sister and father when the mudslide came down that evening around 6 p.m. during a heavy rainfall event.

Another friend, Hilary Keahey, said the family went to the cabin every July together.

"I want people to remember them as beautiful, loving, generous people," Keahey said. 'They had such good souls and hearts. And I think that those of us who are still here feel a little empty, and heaven is a better place certainly now."

The mudslide destroyed at least six structures and damaged homes and the road in the area. It also led to a large fish kill in the Poudre River.

The sheriff’s office said Friday that anyone who would like to get involved should consider a charitable donation to volunteering with some of the groups that will be participating in Saturday’s search and recovery effort.