The remains found last year in Rocky Mountain National Park are believed to belong to a Fort Collins man who went missing in the park some 40 years ago.
On February 13, 1983, Rudy Moder, a West German living in Fort Collins, described as a seasoned winter climber, took a two- to three-night ski mountaineering trip over Thunder, Colo., from the Zimmerman Lake trailhead near Cameron Pass. . Got out at 17. Nearby and in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The 27-year-old modder was reported to have been delayed by his roommate six days later, but initial search and investigation efforts were limited by heavy snowfall. A food cache and ice cave with Modder’s sleeping bag and other gear and items were found at the mouth of Box Canyon, but no other signs of Modder were found until later in the month the initial search was halted. Was.
According to a release, in August 2020, skeletal remains were discovered by a pedestrian in the Skeleton Gul area near the avalanche wreck. Rangers conducted a preliminary investigation at the scene, but could not complete the investigation due to closures and shifting priorities due to the Cameron Peak Fire and then the East Troublesome Fire.
Due to snow, park rangers were unable to return until the summer, when they found skis, poles and boots, as well as the remains of personal items believed to belong to Modder.
The Grand County Coroner’s office attempted to confirm the identity through dental records, but the results were inconclusive.
The authorities have worked extensively with the German government for repatriation, family notification and dental record analysis.
“In the decades following Modder’s disappearance, periodic search efforts by Rocky Mountain National Park staff and Larimer County Search and Rescue teams continued,” Rocky Mountain National Park officials said in a statement. “The discovery and recovery of Rudy Moder’s remains closes a nearly four-decade-long cold case in Rocky Mountain National Park.”