Monday, July 25, 2016

Search for missing Delta woman continues in Uncompahgre National Forest

Mary Finnegan, 82
Last Seen July 15, 2016
MESA COUNTY, Colo - The search for 82-year-old Mary Finnegan of Delta County is now focused on a remote area of the Uncompahgre National Forest after her car was found abandoned Sunday.

Finnegan was last seen Friday, July 15th at the Rose Bowl Bowling Alley in Montrose.

Sunday morning around 8:00 a.m. two men out scouting reported finding what Mesa County Sheriff's deputies confirmed to be Finnegan's car.

It was on a rough dirt road about 4-5 miles off Divide Road  in the Uncompahgre National Forest near the Mesa County and Montrose County line. 

The car was found abandoned with no sign of where Finnegan may have gone. There is nothing to indicate foul play, it appears the car got stuck and she tried to get it out.

The car may have been there anywhere from the time she disappeared, July 15th, to as recent as the day before it was found, Saturday July 23rd.

Nearly 30 people from the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Mesa County Search and Rescue Ground Team, Mesa County Sheriff’s Posse, and the U.S. Forest Service immediately began searching the area for any sign of Finnegan.

A plane and helicopter also helped in the search Sunday for as long as weather and fuel permitted.

The search area is very remote with rugged and steep terrain, and very little to no cell service. Even ATVs had a difficult time navigating the road Finnegan's car was found several miles down on.

Recent rain has washed away tire tracks, or potential foot prints making tracking Finnegan whereabouts that much more challenging.

Monday's search will pick up where it left off Sunday, as well as branch out into further surrounding areas as necessary. 

Because of the remote location, it took time to make sure Finnegan's family was aware of the situation before we were able to release these details to the public. We thank you for your understanding. Finnegan's family is now aware of the situation and is involved in the search.

Finnegan is 5'1, 100 lbs, 82 years old, and was last seen wearing jeans, white shirt, blue sweater or sweater vest. Finnegan has dementia and might be confused.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is asking if anyone camping, hiking, or recreating in the area in the last week saw her or something that might be helpful to searchers to please give us a call. You can call us on or tip line at (970) 244-3526.