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Remains believed to be Ohio man missing for months found by Colorado Springs hiker

March 24, 2014 Updated: March 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm
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photo - Gene George
Gene George 

A Colorado Springs hiker’s discovery of a missing man’s wallet led authorities to what is believed to be the 64-year-old missing man’s remains, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office said in a release Monday.

Karl Maes, 20, found the wallet while hiking near the trail leading up to the summits of Mount Harvard and Mount Columbia on Sunday.

Gene George of Cleveland, Ohio, has been missing since he failed to check out of his hotel in Buena Vista on Sept. 22, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office said. On the day he was reported missing, his car was found parked and locked at the North Cottonwood Creek Trail in Buena Vista.

The discovery of his car led to a four-day search involving three helicopters, more than 100 volunteers from several counties, a plane, several dog teams, two horseback teams and two mules, the sheriff’s office said.

Despite the massive search, George’s wallet, along with some clothing, were not found until Sunday, when Maes uncovered the items in a rugged patch of terrain, about two miles away from where the missing man’s car was first discovered.

On Monday morning, Maes accompanied a group of volunteers to search the area, where they uncovered the human remains.

Chaffee County Undersheriff John Spezze said authorities have no reason to believe that there is anything suspicious about George’s disappearance.

The remains have been passed over to the Chaffee County Coroner for positive identification and to determine the cause and manner of death.

George’s sister was notified of the discovery Monday afternoon, the sheriff’s office said.

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