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Bodies ID'd on Mount Evans as missing hikers from Minnesota

By: Associated Press
July 18, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2014 at 10:14 am
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photo - Minnesota firefighters joined the search for 51-year-old Damain McManus and 18-year-old Evan McManus near Mount Evans Tuesday. (AP file)
Minnesota firefighters joined the search for 51-year-old Damain McManus and 18-year-old Evan McManus near Mount Evans Tuesday. (AP file) 

IDAHO SPRINGS — Authorities have confirmed that the bodies of two people found on Mount Evans are that of a father and son missing since going for a hike in April.

The Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office said Friday that the bodies of Damian and Evan McManus of St. Louis Park, Minnesota were recovered Thursday.

They were last heard from April 2 when one of them told a friend they were going to scale a peak. They were reported missing four days later.

Dozens of searchers, including some firefighters from the Minneapolis area this week, have spent thousands of hours looking for them.

Sheriff's Capt. Bruce Snelling said the first body was found by a group of local hikers who have been searching for the McManuses several days a week since they disappeared.

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DENVER — The remains of two people were found Thursday by hikers near Mount Evans, where a father and son from Minnesota have been missing since April.

There was no immediate identification on the two bodies. The Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office said the remains were found Thursday morning and were being recovered by rescue teams.

The remains will be turned over to the county coroner's office for identification.

There was no immediate word whether the bodies matched descriptions of a father and son from St. Louis Park, Minnesota — 51-year-old Damian McManus and 18-year-old Evan McManus. The two went missing in April on a Colorado hiking trip.

Four Minneapolis-area firefighters were searching Thursday for the pair. Authorities didn't say whether the firefighters were the ones who discovered the bodies.

More than 50 members of over a dozen Colorado search and rescue teams searched extensively for the men — on foot, on snowmobiles and from the air — after they were reported missing.

They were last heard from April 2 when one of them told a friend they were going to scale a peak. They were reported missing on April 6, when the search began.

Their car was found at the Echo Lake Campground near the base of the mountain but it's not known which trail they took, said Bill Barwick, a spokesman for the Alpine Rescue Team. Heavy snow fell after they disappeared, erasing any footprints left before the storm, he said.

"We don't know where they went," Barwick said.

Searchers worked in up to 3 feet of snow and the threat of avalanches initially prevented searchers from going into some areas.

The initial search lasted for four days and crews later returned to the area for smaller searches. Before the Minnesota searchers arrived, searchers spent about 5,000 combined hours looking for the men, Barwick said.

Mount Evans is 14,250 feet high and has one of the highest paved roads in North America. The road closes at the end of summer, when weather conditions can quickly become treacherous.

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