ECHO LAKE, Colo. - The search for two Minnesotans who never returned from a day hike in a popular Colorado park area resumed at daylight Monday.
Damian McManus, 51, and his 18-year-old son Evan, from St. Louis Park, were last heard from on Wednesday. The father and son planned a spring break trip and were supposed to return to Minnesota this weekend. They never returned to their car or hotel after hiking at Echo Lake in Clear Creek County, Colorado around two hours west of Denver.
According to Bill Barwick with the Alpine Rescue Team, the search is resuming in an area just south of Echo Lake Lodge off Highway 103. Barwick said there is no cell service in that area. He said the altitude is around 10,000 feet and it's very cold and windy. The area has had a number of snowstorms between Monday and Sunday.
While the father and son went to Colorado, Katherine McManus, Damian's wife and Evan's mother, took Evan's twin sister Lauren to Mexico for a spring break trip with her friends. Each twin was supposed to have a senior spring break trip bonding with a parent.
With spotty cell and internet service in Mexico, the mother and daughter hadn't heard from them, but thought it was because they were in the mountains.
"We became really worried when we got off the plane from Mexico this afternoon and she still hadn't heard anything from Damian, we tried texting them and calling them and both of their phones were dead," said family friend Andrea Bouzrara, who was along on the Mexico trip.
Searchers in helicopters and on snowmobiles fanned out to find the pair on Sunday, reports KARE's sister station, KUSA. The family said searchers did note some cell activity off nearby towers as part of the initial search. Authorities found their van in the park's parking lot, and their belongings back at the hotel. Hotel staffers became worried when the father and son never returned to their room.
Bouzrara said Damian McManus enjoys mountain hiking and does have survival and orienteering skills from his military background in England, but the family doesn't believe he would take risks to put his son in harm's way.
Damian McManus has a British accent, so his family hopes people who may have crossed their paths in Colorado remember meeting him. The father and son ate at a Denny's restaurant in Lakewood, Colorado Wednesday morning. It's the last transaction on McManus' bank account.
Evan McManus and his twin sister are seniors at St. Louis Park High School. Evan's girlfriend back in Minnesota was the first to alert the family Evan and his father were missing. The young couple talked several times daily, but she had not heard from him after he set out on the hike.
The McManus family is asking for support, and hopes anyone in the Echo Lake area can help with information or details that could lead to Evan and Damian.
"They first of all want prayers everyone is found safely, if anyone has seen them please let authorities know right away because they are missed and loved," said Bouzrara. "Everyone is very, very worried for their safety."
The family has set up a Facebook group to raise awareness for the father and son's safe return.