FRUITA, Colo. — (UPDATE): The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has completed its examination regarding the death of James Fuchs, a 66 year-old male resident of Grand Junction, Colorado. Mr. Fuchs was the male found near Devil’s Kitchen in the Colorado National Monument on June 27, 2020. The cause of death is multiple blunt force injuries and the manner of death is accident.
The search for missing hiker, Jim Fuchs, was suspended today with the retrieval of a deceased male that matched his description from the search area. The identification of the victim and cause of death will be established by Mesa County Coroner’s office. The victim was discovered early Saturday, June 27, 2020 in rough terrain beyond the Devil’s Kitchen rock formation in Colorado National Monument.
(ORIGINAL): Park officials are requesting the public’s help with information regarding a missing hiker. A search and rescue operation is currently underway on the south-east side of Colorado National Monument. Jim Fuchs, a 66-year-old white male from Grand Junction, left a note, which seemed to indicate hiking plans for the monument on Monday, June 22. Staff at the monument was notified at approximately 7:00 p.m. Thursday, June 25, 2020 by a friend who had found the note and had been unable to contact him. Fuchs’ vehicle was found at the Lower Serpents Trail parking lot, just inside the east (Grand Junction) entrance to the monument.
Searchers from the National Park Service, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and Mesa County Search and Rescue Ground Team are involved in the search. Search teams began last night with a specially licensed drone that is equipped with thermal imaging and cameras. The search resumed first thing Friday morning. Over a dozen search and rescue volunteers are methodically combing through miles of nearby canyons for any sign of Mr. Fuchs. Teams are physically hiking through the area as well as searching by air with the help of the drone.
Jim Fuchs is described as a 66-year-old white male, 5’10” tall and about 175 lbs. It is unknown what he was wearing when he went hiking, however, a recent photo is attached.
If anyone hiking along the trails or backcountry from the Devil’s Kitchen or Lower Serpents parking lots over the last 4 days remembers seeing Mr. Fuchs or has other information, please call monument staff at 970-250-0805.
The Colorado National Monument visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. For additional information please visit www.nps.gov/colm or call 970-858-3617, ext. 360.