Reward for missing man George Aldrich raised | AspenTimes.com

Reward for missing man George Aldrich raised

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

George Aldrich

ASPEN – The family of George Aldrich, the Snowmass Village resident who disappeared on the night of Nov. 27, has raised the reward for information leading to his discovery from $5,000 to $25,000.

In a statement released Sunday evening, the family said the possibility of some type of criminal act against Aldrich seemed likely. Family members cited the exhaustive 12-day search by area law enforcement and community volunteers along the Highway 82 corridor from Aspen to Carbondale that failed to turn up any evidence in the missing-person case.

“We definitely believe there’s a possibility of a criminal act,” said Sean Aldrich, George’s older brother.

He and his father, George Aldrich Sr., brother Tim Aldrich and family friends planned to return to their native Rhode Island Monday after spending the past two weeks working with police and local residents to find the 28-year-old man.

“We absolutely will return as we will not stop until George is found,” the family’s prepared statement says. “We only ask that you continue to be vigilant in your search for George and you continue to keep him at the forefront of your hearts and minds.

“Simply stated, we need your help.”

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Anyone with information that will lead to George Aldrich Jr.’s whereabouts is urged to call (970) 315-2103.

He was last seen the night of Nov. 27 after disembarking a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus at Truscott Place on the outskirts of Aspen. A short time earlier, around 10 p.m., he left Eric’s Bar, where he had been drinking with friends for a few hours. He expressed his displeasure about getting off at the wrong stop to another bus passenger, according to Aspen police investigators. Authorities have said a bloodhound search team early last week picked up his scent from Truscott to another stop near the Aspen Country Inn, but the trail stopped suddenly.

Sean Aldrich said police and family members have done a thorough search of RFTA videotapes. They do not believe he boarded another bus.

“He had to have gotten into a car,” he said.

On Friday, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, held a news conference to say they were ending the field search for Aldrich, but that the investigation into his disappearance would continue. They said it would not be accurate to describe the case as having gone cold.

The family’s Sunday statement offers high praise for local authorities and community members who have assisted in the field search over the past two weeks. Sean Aldrich said Sunday he was unsure how much investigative effort has gone into the possibility of foul play.

“The police have done an excellent job with the field search, and they did some basic investigative things, looking at phone records, that kind of thing,” he said. “I’m not sure how much they looked into it as a criminal act.”

The money to raise the reward offering to $25,000 was collected at various fundraisers back in the family’s home state and the Northeast, Pitkin County sheriff’s Deputy Alex Burchetta said Sunday.

He said the investigation would continue, and that he could not comment on whether police have any leads that have transformed George Aldrich’s disappearance from a missing person case to a criminal case.

asalvail@aspentimes.com