GRAND COUNTY, Colo. — A six-day search has been suspended for a kayaker who went missing on the Colorado River.
Ari Harms, who is in his 30s, was last seen Sunday, May 28 entering the river on an inflatable kayak near a Hot Sulphur Springs campground.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office said the following day, the host of the Pioneer Park campground notified authorities a person that was supposed to have checked out from their campsite left their vehicle at the campground.
After speaking with other campground visitors on Memorial Day weekend, the search began to locate Harms.
Over the course of the week, search crews covered several locations in Byers Canyon downstream to Parshall triggering periodic river and Highway 40 closures.
All closures have since been lifted.
On Thursday, the sheriff’s office said search teams found Harms’ backpack and other personal belongings in the Colorado River and search efforts continued utilizing specialized water search dogs.
The search continued through the weekend but ultimately Harms was not located the sheriff’s wrote in a Facebook post.
“After speaking with Ari’s family last night, we have made the difficult, but necessary decision to suspend official search operations until the conditions of the Colorado River change in the upcoming weeks.”
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office said the search would continue when conditions ‘are more favorable’ with a decrease in water levels expected.
That would allow crews to reach areas they have been unable to search due to safety reasons.
The sheriff’s office said many people have reached out offering to privately search for Harms but it discourages the idea to ensure the community’s safety, with Sheriff Brett Schroetlin adding: “It has been a difficult week for Ari’s family and friends, as well as our first responders who have been working so diligently to reunite Ari with his family.”
Grand County Sheriff’s office said deputies will monitor the area daily and asks anyone with information to contact the department at 970-725-3311.