MONDAY 5/9/22 6:20 p.m.
UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – The body of a missing motorcyclist who was caught in a snowstorm in Utah County has been found on Monday and identified.
The Utah County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) says the body was discovered late Monday afternoon about 3.5 miles up Maple Canyon.
Authorities have identified the man as 65-year-old Blake Dean Baxter.
Baxter was last seen riding his motorcycle up Hobble Creek Canyon around 2 p.m., exiting the Whiting Campground area near Mapleton Canyon on Sunday afternoon. Deputies say Baxter called his family for help around 8 p.m., but when his wife drove to the campground to pick him up, her husband never arrived.
Authorities discovered his motorcycle, helmet and chest protector around 8,200 feet in elevation amid “near whiteout conditions” around 3 a.m. Monday morning. Baxter, however, was nowhere to be found.
A rescue team of eight to ten people hiked up the canyon, but the wet, windy conditions quickly turned into a blizzard. Visibility was low, so crews stopped searching around 4 a.m. Monday morning and resumed again the next day.
Black Hawk helicopters with The Utah National Guard and helicopters with the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) were deployed on Monday to resume an aerial search.
Authorities finally discovered Baxter’s body about one mile from where his motorcycle was found.
Hypothermia and a pre-existing medical condition may have been factors in his death, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
A criminal investigation will also be pursued.
ABC4 will update this story when more information becomes available.
ORIGINAL STORY: Authorities search for missing Utah motorcyclist caught in snowstorm
MONDAY 5/9/22 8:11 a.m.
UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Authorities are searching for a missing man who may have been caught in a Utah County snowstorm on Sunday afternoon.
The Utah County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) says the 65-year-old man rode his motorcycle up Maple Canyon, just east of Mapleton around 2 p.m. Multiple agencies are searching for the man, with helicopters from the Utah National Guard and the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) deployed on Monday morning.
When he was reported missing, authorities discovered his motorcycle in the area, but the man was nowhere to be found.
Deputies say the motorcycle was discovered around 8,200 feet in elevation amid “near whiteout conditions” at the time.
The wintry conditions prevented search and rescue from safely deploying any air support to search for the missing man.
There are still no signs of the missing man at this time.
Currently, multiple agencies are continuing the search with crews from the Utah County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (UCSOSAR), The Utah National Guard, The Utah County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) and the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Anyone who may know of the man’s whereabouts or may have seen the man in the area is asked to contact the local authorities.