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Local crews assisting in search for missing man

Jul 3, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

A group of Fremont County Search and Rescue volunteers are assisting in Sublette County's search for James "Randy" Udall, 61, of Carbondale, Colo.

Udall, the brother of Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, who hiked into the Wind River Mountains alone on June 20 and was supposed to return June 26, according to published reports. The Fremont County Sheriff's Office was called to assist in the search at about 5:30 p.m. Monday.

"We've been providing support," Undersheriff Ryan Lee said Wednesday. "We're helping them out."

The search covers about 225 square miles, according to the Associated Press, which reports that James Udall is an experienced backpacker who has hiked the Wind River Range many times over the past 30 years.

If the search operation continues, Lee said crews may start looking for James Udall in the Wind Rivers of Fremont County.

"The search is getting into an extended amount of time," Lee said. "He could have crossed over the divide into Fremont County, (but) right now the search is being concentrated in Sublette County."

The sheriff's office sent five search and rescue volunteers to help Monday, Lee said, and officials were planning to send more reinforcements Wednesday. He added that it's common for the counties to help one another in mountain searches.

"We augment each other's search and rescue incidents from time to time," Lee said. "We plan on assisting in any way possible."

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