Missing New Castle woman’s car found west of Moab
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
MOAB, Utah ” Authorities found the vehicle Monday afternoon of a New Castle woman who apparently disappeared Nov. 16, while on a hiking trip in Moab, Utah.
Rose Backhaus, 54, was last seen checking out of the La Quinta Inn in Moab at about 8 a.m. on Nov. 16. Friends, family and a co-worker said it was extremely unusual that she didn’t return home Sunday night or to work early Monday morning as planned.
Emery County Sheriff’s Capt. Kyle Ekker said Backhaus’ Ford Explorer was found in the Goblin Valley area south of Green River.
“We’re in the middle of a search. We’re trying to get a helicopter up,” Ekker said Monday afternoon.
He said the Sheriff’s Office had people headed out to try to see if they could determine where exactly Backhaus might be before it got dark. He said the Sheriff’s Office planned on checking the registers at the Goblin Valley State Park to see if Backhaus signed in. His staff also intended to interview people coming out of the canyon to see if they could learn anything about Backhaus’ location. A Emery County road department employee spotted the vehicle around noon.
“She’s very tenacious, so if anybody can live on a puddle of water and find shelter and things like that it would be Rose,” said Leslie Robinson, a friend. “Now at least we know where to look for her.”
Backhaus hadn’t yet been located and more information was unavailable before a press deadline.
Cell phone records showed her phone was last used around 10:20 a.m. Nov. 16 to check messages. The signal bounced off a tower that serves Taos, N.M., which suggests Backhaus probably was in southern Utah, northern New Mexico, or the Four Corners area at that time, the New Castle Police Department said.
It wasn’t immediately clear what happened. Goblin Valley is around 70 miles west of Moab and not any farther south.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office and San Juan County Sheriff’s Office in Utah initiated extensive searches in the parks and in adjacent private property including airplane flights.
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