Family asks for help finding missing man in Uinta Mountains

Local News

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) The family of a missing 74-year-old Arizona man who disappeared while on a hike pleads for help.  

Melvin Heaps hasn’t been seen since leaving for the Uinta Mountains on Monday during a family visit in Utah. On Friday, search crews looked around the Crystal Lake area of Summit County. 

The search over the last five days focuses on the vast network of trails off the Trial Lake trail head, about 30 miles east of Kamas.  

“We are hopeful. we are remaining committed in this search. We will do everything that we can, as of now, to make sure that we find Mel and return him to his family,” Summit County Sheriff Lt. Andrew Wright said.

Heaps’ family admitted he is deaf in one ear and wears a hearing aid in the other. They believe the battery has died, which would make hearing search crews impossible.

“Our hopes are that we have a lot of people out there and we can bring Melvin home,” Kevin Bardsley said, volunteer search coordinator.

Few volunteers have come out to help search for Heaps during a week when about half-a-dozen people were reported missing across Utah. 

“Sometimes we get this feeling that maybe he’s an older man. But he’s still a human being. He still needs help. We need the help to find him. We want to bring him home to his family,” Bardsley said.

“We’ve have lots of help with this, but as mentioned before, we could use a lot more,” Lt. Wright said. 

For information on the volunteer search efforts, click here.

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