Thanks to a northbound CDT hiker who called the authorities, Steve’s body
was recovered yesterday at the remote Lagunitas Campground in Carson National Forest. Here is a news report with the basics.
An investigation is underway, so we will provide details as we get them. We
have been told that there is no evidence of foul play and that Steve was at
the campground for quite a while before he died. We hope the investigation
will give us insight into what happened and maybe ways to prevent something
like this from ever happening again.
Our deepest thanks to everyone who has stuck with us through these last five
months. We couldn’t have gotten through this awful, surreal experience
without the huge support we have received.
Please share so everyone knows he has been found. We will write more as we
get more information.
There have been no new leads of any type in our search for Steve. We did gain access to his computer, which was in storage, so we now have been able to take a look at all of his various accounts. There has been no activity on any of them.
Work for the last few weeks has focused on organizing a search in Carson National Forest, which is where the trail is located from the Colorado border all the way to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, where Steve never showed up to pick up a package of supplies he had mailed himself. Continue reading “April 30 Update”
We don’t have many things to report:
As we thought, the person in Arizona we mentioned in the last post was not Steve. We also got a call about someone in New Mexico, but it turned out that this man had tattoos. Unless Steve got several tattoos on the sly, we don’t think that sounds like him.
There have been no further signs of any Otter on the Florida Trail. Just in case, we’ve been in touch with people in Alabama (their trails connect the Florida Trail and the AT) and the AT in case that Otter was Steve and he is headed up that way. We have also alerted the PCT community (thank you, Muk Muk for your great efforts on that) in case he’s headed in that direction. Continue reading “March 5 Update”
I am sorry that there has not been a post for a while, but that’s because we had a couple of slight leads we were trying to follow and were waiting for the outcomes.
As many of you may remember, we had a credible ID of Steve (he was ID’d by his SF pullover, hat, and beard) in Lordsburg on New Year’s Eve, and there was some video, which we obtained. Two of us have gone through the video, and we can’t find anyone who remotely resembles Steve. We can’t even find the person who was supposed to be wearing the pullover and hat.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked for writing samples (thanks again, Austin Dailey). That’s because we were contacted by someone who was contacted by someone who saw a trail register signed by “Otter” and knew that an Otter was missing (thank you, social media!). Here is a photo of the trail register—the entry is from January 10—so you can see what we’re talking about:
Continue reading “February 14 Update”
We had prepared an update saying that we had no leads, but right when we were going to post it, we got a slight — very slight — lead. To follow it up, we needed some help and posted a request on Facebook asking for a writing sample, which we got. So now we wait for the experts to do their thing; we will let you know if it ends up being significant.
The search continues……
We are continuing to work on the one video opportunity we have; the company has promised to send us the video, and we will be reviewing it as soon as we get it.
In the meantime, we have two questions that we are hoping someone can help us with:
We are trying to follow every lead, and some CDT trail volunteers remember some friends that Steve had in the Quemado area. Here is what they reported to Teresa Martinez, Director of the CDT Coalition (and a lifeline for us!):
However, as they thought back on the time Otter spent with them last year, they remembered that he had mentioned he had met a bunch of survivalists in or around Quemado and had stayed with them for a few days, as they invited him to stay. They are totally off the grid, and we have no idea if they have phones/internet or anything of the like, but they thought it might be worth mentioning. They have no idea exactly where, as he wouldn’t tell them where it was, only that it was around Quemado. Could it be possible that he headed back there? Who knows, but they asked me to mention that to you.
Does anyone know anything about these friends of Steve’s?
Secondly, in one of the sightings, the witness reported a beanie hat. We know about a baseball cap, but does anyone know whether Steve had a beanie, and if so, can you describe it: color? fabric? pom-pom? Any information you have could be helpful.
We also sent a press release to every media outlet in New Mexico that we could reach. Here’s hoping it generates some more sightings.
And we sure could use some more pictures, if anyone has any.
Thanks for everyone for their support.
A couple of people have asked about the sightings that have been reported and our inability to get confirmation whether or not this hiker is Steve. Essentially, we have been stuck in this purgatory where there have been several sightings of a hiker—even credible reports that the hiker might be Steve—but we have been unable to get any confirmation. Here’s where we are:
Continue reading “January 9 Update”
Two of Otter’s friends drove the length of New Mexico over the holiday week and stopped in all of the likely towns where a CDT hiker would stop. They are the ones who found some great leads in Cuba, which we are still trying to confirm (it isn’t easy doing this during the holidays).
They also found someone in Lordsburg who recognized Otter’s now-famous SF pullover and hat, but wasn’t so sure about the person himself. If Steve had hiked on roads and really put in miles every day, it is possible that he made it to Lordsburg by December 31. We are following up on this lead right now and will keep everyone posted if we find anything.
If you live in or near the Lordsburg area, please keep your eyes peeled for Steve. Print some posters to pass out (volunteers have covered most of the likely businesses), and if you are on or near Hwys 113, 9, or 81, please watch for Steve in case he is headed towards the southern terminus. We have also notified all of the authorities to be on the lookout as well.
If Steve is not the person identified in Lordsburg, there is still the real possibility that he is hiking at a more reasonable pace and is approaching Silver City, so we have notified many people and businesses in Silver City to watch for him. Another possibility is he is in trouble somewhere on the trail somewhere south of Grants, so if people want to search, we are trying to coordinate that as best we can. Please see our Search Information page before you start, because, above all, we want to make sure you STAY SAFE.
If you live anywhere near the trail in this area, one thing you can do is check out road crossings for foot prints. And please keep handing out posters; it’s amazing how quickly people forget.
If you need a map of the trail, go to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition’s interactive map.
Thank you to everyone for their support and assistance while we find Otter.
As the search continues, we thought it would be easiest if we set up social media in order to communicate with Otter’s family and friends. Here’s the latest update:
We have credible but unconfirmed sightings of Steve in several businesses in Cuba in early December and in Grants on December 10. There have been no sightings since.
We are trying to confirm these sightings. In the meantime, assuming this hiker is Steve, there appear to be three possibilities:
• He is just fine and has bypassed the towns that are off the trail and is heading towards Silver City.
• He is visiting friends somewhere south of Grants.
• He is in trouble somewhere between Grants and the southern terminus.
We are doing a publicity blitz in the area between Grants and the southern terminus. As Silver City is right on the trail, so he is almost certain to pass through it and should be almost there if he wasn’t delayed on the trail, we are making every effort to cover Silver City as thoroughly as possible.
There is still the real possibility that Steve is in trouble somewhere on the trail, most probably somewhere south of Grants if he was, indeed, that hiker, so if people want to search, we are trying to coordinate that as best we can. Please see our Search Information page before you start, because, above all, we want to make sure you STAY SAFE.
Thank you to everyone for their support and assistance while we find Otter.