Nearly a month after a 20-year-old hiker went missing on Mount Herman, officials and family members say they have no clue where he might be.
Kevin Rudnicki, a junior at the University of Wyoming who grew up in Palmer Lake, was last seen the morning of Sept. 2, when he ran into one of his former middle school teachers along Trail 715 in the Limbaugh Canyon area.
“Kevin is still missing. Please, keep your eyes open while hiking,” his mother, Melissa Reynolds, wrote in a Tuesday post on Facebook.
“If you see something out of the ordinary, please let the (El Paso County Sheriff’s Office) know. He’s most likely off the trail. He liked to explore rock outcroppings and caves. We don’t encourage anyone risking their own safety, just asking those on the trails to be aware. Thank you again to everyone for your kind words, prayers, and support.”
In the days and weeks after Rudnicki’s disappearance, dozens of volunteers helped El Paso County Search and Rescue crews search the area on foot and using helicopters and drones.
“There is no sign of him,” said Jacqueline Kirby, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman. “There has been so sign of him in the searches that we have done, but we have not given up. We are still working in close communication with the family, and we are conducting training … there for our Search and Rescue team as well as the Search and Rescue K-9s.
“But no new developments, no new updates.”
Search and Rescue has continued to follow up on tips and leads that come in about Rudnicki, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Natalie Sosa said Friday.
“They will continue to strategically deploy resources based off the information they receive,” Sosa wrote in an email to The Gazette.
Rudnicki is very familiar with the area, his mother said, having spent the past six or seven years hiking in Pike National Forest near Palmer Lake and making his trail maps.
He is studying watershed management and wants to work for the U.S. Forest Service after graduation, Reynolds said in early September.
“He wants the forest to be his office,” she said.
“He doesn’t want to be in a building, in front of a computer. He wants to be out getting his hands dirty.”
Rudnicki is about 5 feet, 9 inches tall with curly red or auburn hair, a poster says.
He was last seen wearing a green shirt, khaki cargo shorts, a Wyoming baseball cap and tan military boots.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff ’s Office at 719-390-5555.
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