On Nov. 4, Rocky Mountain National Park officials from Colorado said they believe the human remains discovered in the park match a West German man called Rudi Moder, who has been missing for 38 years.
According to officials, over a foot of snow hampered the search for Moder in 1983. Finally, in Aug. 2020, a hiker found skeletal remains near avalanche debris of the Skeleton Gulch area. However, the probe was again stalled as police focused their efforts on battling wildfires and heavy snowfall.
“The discovery and recovery of Rudi Moder’s remains closes out a nearly four decade long cold case at Rocky Mountain National Park,” read the National Park Service’s press statement obtained by the Washington Examiner.
“This summer, park rangers further searched the scene and found skis, poles and boots, along with remains of personal items believed to belong to Moder,” the Park Service added. “The FBI Evidence Response Team assisted park rangers with the recovery of remains.”
The outcomes of the human remains’ dental examination were “inconclusive” despite the efforts of a coroner from Grand County, Colorado.
“Officials have worked extensively with the German government for repatriation, family notification and dental record analysis,” the park officials said, according to CNN.
Moder, a seasoned ski mountaineer from Fort Collins, Colorado, was 27 years old when he vanished. His roommate reported missing him on Feb. 19, 1983, just days after he departed for what was planned as a two-to-three-night ski adventure.
According to park officials, “search efforts in finding tracks and other clues,” were hampered by more than a foot of snow.
As the statement said, the first search for Moder began on Feb. 20, 1983, and ended on Feb. 23, 1983.
Search teams were able to find a sleeping bag and a food cache, among other items linked to Moder though the snow impeded the investigation.
According to the statement, the first inquiry was completed four days after it started, but others were undertaken across the spring and summer.
In a similar case in Oct. 2021, authorities claimed that human remains discovered in a Massachusetts state park related to 5-year-old Elijah Lewis from New Hampshire. The boy was reported missing over a month ago.