News Release

Recovery Efforts For Missing Man In Rocky Mountain National Park

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Date: September 15, 2020
Contact: Kyle Patterson, Public Affairs Officer, 970-586-1363
Contact: Park Information, 970-586-1206

Yesterday, Monday, September 14, a body believed to be that of Steven Grunwald, 24, of Greenville, New York, was located by a search team in the Notch below McHenrys and Powell Peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park.      

Rocky Mountain National Park rangers completed an on-scene investigation and recovery operations took place by helicopter yesterday. His body was flown to a landing zone in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park and transferred to the Larimer County Coroner’s Office. Larimer County Coroner’s office will not release positive identification until completion of an autopsy.     

Park searchers camped Sunday night near Lake Powell and resumed search efforts at sunrise yesterday.  Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park again yesterday was Northern Colorado Interagency Helitak.  A team consisting of a park ranger and members of Front Range Rescue Dogs were flown to the Thatchtop area. The dog team aided greatly in finding Grunwald.    

On September 10, a friend of Grunwald reported him missing.  Park rangers found his vehicle parked at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead on September 10. Search efforts began on September 11. His last contact with family and friends was August 28. His exact route was unknown, but it was believed he may have been attempting the Glacier Gorge Traverse on August 29.       

Investigative leads were positive from the established tip line and from speaking with Steve’s friends. This continued to assist in defining the search area.  The dog team was flown out last night and Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members will be flown out this morning.      

The cause is under investigation. No further information is available at this time.     



Last updated: September 15, 2020

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Estes Park, CO 80517

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Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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