Missing New Castle woman last seen in Moab
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE ” The last time anyone saw Rose Backhaus was when she checked out of the La Quinta Inn in Moab, Utah to go hiking Sunday morning.
“I believe she’s alive and that’s where I’m sticking,” said her son, Michael Backhaus, as he drove along Interstate 70 on Tuesday searching for any signs of his mother.
Rose Backhaus, 54, of New Castle, planned a weekend hiking trip to Moab with a friend. But she ended up going alone after the friend got sick and backed out.
“That’s very typical of my mom,” Michael Backhaus said. “She went on her own. She’s very independent and she loves the outdoors.”
Rose Backhaus is originally from Denver. She lived in the area for around seven years and is a manager at Copy Copy in Glenwood Springs. Her roommate, Deb Davis, was concerned when she didn’t return to New Castle as planned Sunday night. Things seemed more unusual when Backhaus didn’t go to work at 7:30 a.m. on Monday.
“That’s when the red flags went up,” Davis said. “This is totally out of character for her, especially to not show up for work.”
Davis works in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent’s circulation department. Davis and Michael Backhaus said Rose was a very consistent, responsible and level-headed type of person who wouldn’t abandon her work duties.
Angela Chagnon, a co-worker at Copy Copy, said, “She’s always been very consistent about coming to work ” very responsible, very hardworking. It was just very unlike her not to call.”
She said co-workers are worried about Backhaus and are sending out a flyer about her asking for information. Backhaus’s plans were to hike Saturday in Moab, stay at the La Quinta Inn, hike again Sunday and return Sunday night. Sunday was her granddaughter’s birthday.
“She loves those kids dearly and they didn’t get a call,” Davis said.
New Castle Police Chief Chris Sadler said police looked into Backhaus’s phone records but they didn’t turn up anything helpful in locating her. Police were also looking into banking records and sent out an alert about Rose Backhaus to law enforcement agencies throughout Colorado and surrounding states.
Authorities in Utah reportedly searched for Backhaus on foot and were searching for her vehicle but hadn’t found it as of mid-day Tuesday. Not finding the vehicle seemed a bit odd.
“It’s kind of strange, I would think that would be an easy find, but I don’t know how great of an area we’re talking about either,” Sadler said.
Backhaus was driving an off-red or burgundy 2004 Ford Explorer with a gray interior and a bike rack on the back. The license plate is “341-JVV.”
Michael Backhaus said his mother was known to frequent many of the same spots and stayed at the La Quinta Inn every time she went to Moab. He’s worried but remains optimistic.
“I’m worried, but at the same time that’s my mom. She loved the outdoors. She loved hiking. I know that she loved her life and loved doing things like this just as much as she loved me and my sister and our kids,” Michael Backhaus said. “This was a major part of her life.”
He said his mother is “very common sense oriented” and would make smart decisions in an outdoor survival situation. His intuition tells him she’s alive.
“She is alive. She’s out there,” he said. “I can’t dwell on what may be happening with her right now and what condition she may be in. If I do I may lose focus on the goal of just finding her.”
Anyone with relevant information about Rose Backhaus is encouraged to call the New Castle Police Department at 984-2302.
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