Missing Randy Facts Page…


Age: 54 years old
Hair: Grey
Eyes: Green
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 200lbs
Home: Thornton, Colorado

January 2nd – Randy arrived in Santa Fe.
January 3rd – Checked out of the Motel 6.
Scouted the Rio Grande area from the east side Mesa
January 4th – Purchased the raft from Big 5 Sporting Goods in Santa Fe, NM.
January 5th – Randy’s SUV was spotted by a security guard at end of Beckman Rd.
35.835979, -106.160753
Google Map showing location of where Randy’s car was found:

It was on this day that his friend Tom began to call him assuming that he left on the 4th. Randy’s phone went directly to voicemail. There is no cell service in the canyon.
January 6th – 13th – Tom continued to call Randy’s phone
January 13th – Tom contacted Linda Bilyeu that evening
January 14th – 7am Linda Bilyeu filed a missing person’s report. SFPD found Randy’s SUV
January 15th – Santa Fe Police Department requested assistance from TriState Careflight to run their helicopter through the canyon and look for signs of Randy. Dog and raft were spotted from the air on east side of river at coordinates: 35°44’55.7″N 106°15’29.9″W. There were no signs of any human presence. There was no campfire, food wrappers, personal belongings other than the raft which was upside down and reported to have some sort of rip or tear, (possibly on bottom), foot pump and two paddles, (one slightly broken at telescopic connection). Dog was noted to be traumatized, survived frigid temperatures, wearing a sweater, lost significant amount of weight and had a raw paw. It took Erin Johnson (TriState Flight Nurse) approximately one half hour to get the dog to eat food (crushed granola bar). The pump was not connected to the boat when it was found. Raft was a good distance from rivers edge and appeared to have been placed there rather than to have blown there or washed there. The river distance from Randy’s car to where the raft and Leo were found is about 9.2 miles.

Google Map showing the location where raft and Leo were found:

Hiking boots, jacket, wallet, maps, dog bed, dog toy, half eaten sandwich.
Map that appears to show where Randy was headed.
Receipt showing purchase of a raft, a compass and wetsuit.

Blue day pack

NM Search and Rescue reported a set of boot prints and dog prints were found going into Rito de los Frijoles and out again. These are assumed to be Randy’s and Leo’s.

449 thoughts on “Missing Randy Facts Page…

      • What are the 5 big cats? I know cougars are in the area, but that’s all. If you’re referring pumas, catamounts, mountain lions or panthers, those are all just different names for “cougar”. Beautiful creatures.

        • They are all cougars that are watched Daily. I saw one set of tracks of a cat that I would say weighed in around 200 pounds. I hope that clears your question up for you. I only saw tracks along the cliff bottom trail not the animal itself Titan might be the answer to that question. But the worker that is there always told me this fact. Have a great day always Jeff Burch and Titan

          • Thanks, Jeff. And thank you for all your personal efforts searching for Randy.

            There are most surely cougars here around SFe – one was even cornered inside a jewelry store right on the Plaza a few years back. Last winter, a freshly killed deer had been dragged about 6′ up an old pinion tree beside our dirt road. Only a cougar would’ve done that. It was completely gone within a week.

    • Missing Facts:
      1 Did Randy Pay his rent for more then one month
      2 Did Randy have survival skills a knife and fire
      3 The location of actual put in? was it upriver if so where
      4 where did the Rescue teem search with dogs no sign down river of dogs
      5 where are the campers
      6 did he carry dog food also a dog carry bag
      7 can he be alive. Yes. with skills
      8 Does he have friends that can answers to these questions
      9 Did someone see Randy and Leo launch

      • Tough-
        There are several common ways to express lat/lon coordinates.
        You may be most familiar with:
        N44˚ 33 59 W110˚ 50 37

        Sometimes there are even fraction seconds like this:
        N44˚ 33 59.2 W110˚ 50 37.4

        This is the oldest form of expressing lat/lon coordinates.
        Since that system was invented instruments have become much more precise in their ability to measure a location. Where once we could only measure to within several hundred feet of a position, today we have accuracy to the darn centimeter.

        So more precise systems of notating lat/lon have also been invented.

        For instance
        Many folks use
        Degrees/minutes/decimal minutes
        It would look like this:
        N44˚ 33.997 W110˚ 50.628

        A third type would be Degrees/decimal degrees
        It would look like this
        N44.56664 W110.84375

        All those will get you to the same place. Some folks prefer one type over another for accuracy or for convenience. You can usually tell just by looking what format someone is using.

        Most mapping programs give you the choice of which format to use. There are also stand alone applications that convert one format to another.

  1. Missing facts;
    Photos of Rany’s footprints near his car. For comparison to other footprints found.
    Did he have a backpack? Was he prepared for a trip more than a couple of hours?
    What kind of cell phone reception would one get near the car and the landing zone. A cell phone ping trace might give us some ideal where he went.
    Also he may have used a gps service to plot his path.
    Has anyone ever searched with Randy? Said person could give us an ideal of his abilities.
    Did he take some hiking shoes / boots? Waders are not the best thing to walk very far on dry land in.

  2. Were there any signs of animals outside of his dog? Has anyone tried to get tracking dogs to find him? I do hope he is found soon and he is OK. Prayers offered for his safe return. I just wished I could help.

  3. Well, there aren’t many. I’ll have to look up the exact dates and coordinates, but for a start.

    1. Randy started his search on: I believe it was on Jan. 5th
    2. First search for Randy Jan 16 by NMSR
    3. Car found at end of Old Buckman Road by river: need coordinates
    4. Raft and Leo found Jan. 16th ? need coordinates
    5. Randy and Leo scouted the area before hand.
    6. He purchased a raft and chest waders for his search

    • Actually NMSAR started their search Fridat evening of the 15th. A lot of what you stated are assumptions. Lets keep it to the facts here.

  4. When dog and raft were spotted from the air on east side of river, there were no signs of any human presence, no camp fire, food wrappers, personal belongings other than raft which was upside down and reported to have some sort of rip or tear, (possibly on bottom), foot pump and two paddles, (one slightly broken at telescopic connection). Dog was noted to be traumatized as it took personnel a good half hour to approach with food. Raft was a good distance from rivers edge and appeared to have been placed there.

    • We could discuss or mention factual January weather conditions, but safe to say it was inhospitable for anyone unprepared for long term overnight stay.

      Also, as of right now there doesn’t appear to have been any plan as to how Randy was going to return to his vehicle/put in.

      • If they would allow someone to review his laptop (apparently found in the car), you might discover his plan (saved files, search history). Perhaps a plan to float to the lake and get a taxi back to his car (may not have known the lake was frozen). Raft went flat on main section so that plan had to be abandoned.

        We’re all guessing when his destination and exit plan may be sitting there on his laptop.

  5. Start with his name, age, height, weight, what he was driving, name and description of dog, items in car, purchases made prior to date, last cell phone texts, picture of map in car, when he went missing, date reported missing, date Leo was found, items found on scene with Leo, Leo’s condition, known medical condition, last phone calls, statements from family members and friends. Weather at time of incident, statement from personnel where car was located, statement from hiker with dogs on 1/5/2016 that heard noise, findings from NMSAR.

  6. Fact, in just a few days dogs lose weight quickly. Their metabolism is much faster than ours.
    Fact, dogs can stay alive on water only for up to 14 days, maybe a bit longer.
    Fact, a dog will be forced to fall into self preservation mode after 3-4 days without water.
    Fact, Leo was found at the river, near water.
    Fact, the raft area was sand, Leo’s feet were cut by rocks, came from a rocky area.
    Fact, Leo was scared, either from trauma or didn’t want to leave Randy.

  7. Dal,so from jan,5th until the 16th when they found leo by raft.we don’t know what date he and leo actually went down to rio grande with the raft.I know they scouted the area you said first.we got no date on that?also for a person to leave their hiking boots in the car meant just going on raft in river, with waders on.This makes no sense,did he think treasure was in the water,I don’t think so.then why didn’t he take his hiking boots with him.and why leave the map in the car,even tho they looked, I think he still would of needed his map.leaving his wallet in the car,did he think he was going to walk around in the water looking for treasure,don’t they come up to your chest,he thought his wallet would get wet,if he fell.so he and the dog ,get in a raft and float along the river,somehow the raft gets a tear in it,he makes it to shore,hopefully it was him,i’m thinking it was him because if it was someone else they would of took the dog,or it ran away from somebody and came back to raft.if randy pulled the torn raft to shore enough it would not make it back to the water,and place the paddles just so.which side of the river was he on with the raft.as I looked at the drone pictures and the pictures from jeff,that place is so hugh with high cliffs,mountains.it makes the rio grande look so small. imagine a person standing down there,they would look so small.so I don’t think he could of climbed out of there with waders on,unless he saw a spot to where it looked like he could climb out ,as soon as the raft started taking on water from the tear.i just don’t see him leaving leo and trying to climb out,he just would not do that.so no hiking boots with him,he had waders on why go in the water when he knew the treasure was not in the water ,so if he thought ,my raft has a tear,taking on water, why try to cross the river to get to the other side with no hiking boots to go looking,and if he wanted to go on the other side ,he could of float to the other side with the raft,instead of pulling it in on the other side.do you see what i’m getting at here,this don’t sound like randy.well i’ll cross the river and go for help,he still would not leave leo.which side of the river looked best to try to get out back to his car.I’m sorry but this just sounds not right.

    • They found the raft on the 15th.
      A majority of what you posted are not fact, rather hypotheses that might be testable. Maybe a desperate page is needed for ideas of what could have happened. Lets keep these pages organized.

  8. The raft & Leo were located a good ways SOUTH of the “mountains NORTH of Santa Fe”. No reason to search there.

    Randy snail mailed his “solve” to FF because he claimed that was the only way he could make sure that FF would read it. Randy was NOT sure that FF would read it in email form. Why was it so important for FF to be made aware of where Randy was heading?

    Randy checked out of Motel 6 the day prior … intending to sleep in his vehicle. The weather temp was frigid. There were NO facilities & NO comfort.

    In his vehicle, Randy left a map of exactly where he was going. He also left his identification info (his wallet) in the vehicle. To his girlfriend, he sent a picture taken of the raft box posed on the hood, making certain to show the name of the store. The receipt showing his purchase of a raft, a compass, & a wetsuit was left in plain view. Also evidence of a dog (toy & bed) were there.

    Randy would NOT have been able to paddle his raft back upriver 9 miles to where he put in. By what means did he plan to return?

    The raft was placed an unnecessary distance from the water. It was bottom up, atop the scrubbrush, seeming to form a shelter of some sort. The yellow pump appeared to serve as a beacon to any searchers.

    Randy’s “friend” with whom he spoke on 4 Jan, waited 10-11 days to report him missing. Only then to the girlfriend … NOT to the authorities.

    Randy’s family, except for his sister, have NOT been present to personally explore his disappearance. Due to economic issues or due to apathy?

    Randy left absolutely NO clues to what happened & NO directions for where he was heading from the raft area. No stones forming an arrow, NO pointers, NO SOS, NO broken branches, NO pieces of cloth tied here & there, NO footprints, NO message scratched in the sand, NOT a thing! Zero, zilch, nada!

    • It’s reminds me of a search I did when I was so excited to get going that I accidentily left the map in the car, forgot my jacket with my flashlight in it, gave instructions for my wife to call for help after midnight if I didn’t call her, but was 20 miles from where I told her I would be and then got lost.

      My actions would be second guessed for years if I had disappeared for good, yet it was all my own doing and not done to mislead anyone.

      But neverthless your list is interesting.

    • Becky, I don’t know where you got the info that Randy snail mailed FF his “solve” but if FF received it, this is a FACT. This means his exact “intended” destination is known. Please tell me WHERE this was posted…I must have missed it. Thank you!

    • Becky, how do you know as fact Randy mailed his solve to Forrest? I must’ve missed that, altho I do recall some conjecture about it. If that is in fact, true, wouldn’t the solve have been used early on to define a better target area than Randy’s cryptic dashboard map? If Randy’s solve is out there, can anyone lead me to it?

      • Thank you for that reminder of how this whole thing ignited, so true and simple. Are those the latest communiques b/t Randy & Forrest?

        Forgive me, but I think this is a fact: Randy, and his deeds, do not look or act like those of a suicidal/escapist person.

  9. Dal, thanx for keeping us all on the straight and narrow. As Sherlock Holmes has said, “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” We just need to keep eliminating the impossible.

    IE: it’s impossible for Randy to have flown out of the canyon, as he cannot fly. Is it impossible for him to have walked out? The more pictures I see of the area, coupled with the distance to cover – I say no, he did not raft down the Rio, search the West bank, cross the river and then hike out in one day. Even if he had his hiking boots on.

    Assuming, and we all know what that may mean, he did not run into bad guys could this trip been completed in the allotted time he seems to have given himself to accomplish it? Again, I say no. It doesn’t add up.

    • Another fact not at the top – half eaten sandwich left in the car. Even if he was at the put in site where his car was found at the first light of day, he had at best 10 hours of useble daylight for the entire trip.

      Conjecture, because he did not take his hiking boots did he plan on paddling back up the Rio after doing reconnaissance and or extraction? If so, then his trip was doomed before he ever set foot into his raft. It is my opinion his exit starategy was flawed. Because it was, we now have to try to figure out what he decided his plan B would be.

      Many of us know that if you want to be found, stay put and bivouac in. Make shelter to stay dry and warm, building a fire if you can. Eventually, folks will find you if you can stay patient long enough. Maybe he did stay one night under the raft and knew he wouldn’t last another night so he struck out the next morning. So how far can a person hike in 8 to 10 hours wearing waders? That’s the search perimeter, again, assuming he did not run into any ruffians.

    • Staying one night under the raft, I think, lends some credence to Leo being found close by. It might have been the last known spot that he and his master bedded down for a night. If, and it’s a big if, Randy spent one night under the raft and his intent was getting back to his car, then he probably succumbed to the elements attempting to walk or climb out. If however, he decided to make for the nearest known occupied dwelling, I do not know where that is in relationship to his car.

      In my mind, I am still wondering how far a man like him could walk in waders over that terrain in 8 to 10 hours of sunlight. Or 2 to 3 hours, if he made the attempt on his initial day and did not hunker down for one or more nights? Is there any chance he did wait to be rescued at that site where the raft was found? Maybe he did sit there for a couple of days waiting and then was so frustrated he decided to try to walk out. Is that impossible?

      • Sherlock would say: “The curious fact was the contents of the raft.”
        We would say: “The raft was empty.”
        Sherlock replies: “That was the curious fact.”

        The absence of a backpack says volumes.

      • Sherlock might also say: “Where’s the saw, Watson?”
        Watson: “What saw, Holmes?”
        Sherlock: “The saw he was carrying, perhaps in a pocket knife.”
        Watson: “I’m not sure how you deduce that he had a saw.”
        Sherlock: “It’s elementary, my dear Watson. This material here. Have you ever known it to break, before it bends?”

        OK, this one is more like a guess but the “broken” handle of the paddle should have an indentation from being bent, rather than a clean “break”. It should be at least a little pinched. Instead it look like it was sawed off when you zoom in:


        Maybe not sawed, but a lack of pinching stands out. Just a curiosity, not a clue.

        The missing backpack is an actual problem. No one goes without a backpack… simply for water, snacks, or, in our case, to haul a treasure out. How people use backpacks matter too. People don’t generally wear backpacks in rafts. They take them off when they get in, and put them on when they get out. A missing backpack strongly suggests that he was abandoning the raft location (not that you can get much from that, but it’s not nothing).

        • I’m with you Jeremy, it’s one of the peices to the puzzle that has me suspecting that he and his backpack are still close together. It may be on the bottom of the river or at the botom of a steep incline, or in a small cubby hole cave of some kind – but the backpack with whatever survival gear he packed in, is still with him.

          And now a word from our sponsors: I have to say, I was disappointed in the reports when they said there was no eveidence that there was human activity at the sand bar because they didn’t find any wrappers. I think most of us are conscientious enough to pack out our trash and that the wrappers they were expecting to find at the sand bar will be in his backpack when it is found.

  10. Nice list so far Dal.

    I can add that his blue backpack remains unaccounted for.

    Also, as 54, 200 lbs., and he is 6 for 4, according to the police report.

    Also, his car is a blue Nissan Murano.

    • Well done Dal and Sacha. I read somewhere that part of Frioles was searched by park staff. Sacha, was it you or another volunteer who got this information from Bob or the park? We should add this since everyone seems to think that canyon is key.

  11. Who would leave a half eaten sandwich, their wallet, and their hiking boots behind? He wasn’t hiking without his boots. Why not finish his samdwich? Why leave your wallet for someone to break in his car and steal. This all doesn’t add up to me. I can’t believe he hiked Frijoles without hiking boots.
    Maybe they should more throughly search around his car or where the hiker heard the strange noise. Maybe he never went down the river.

    • How do you know he wasn’t hiking without boots. Some people have more than one pair of boots or hike in sneakers. Lets keep it to the facts.

  12. NMSAR’s first operational period was technically Friday night Jan 15. That was when they searched for tracks around his vehicle and around the river where his vehicle was parked. The dog was found Friday afternoon, Jan 15. The raft was searched for tracks by NMSAR on Saturday January 16. Multiple dog teams went out January 16, some dogs were injured by the terrain. State police boat and dive teams went out 16 and 17. Planes and helicopters were used 16 and 17 for aerial search along the river. NMSAR called off the search due to a lack of clues. Feel free to confirm with Bob.

    • What did NMSAR find around the car in regards to tracks? Were they consistent with someone wearing wadders, was there dog tracks consistent with Leo’s?
      Are we even sure he had wadders on?

  13. At first, I thought this was another case of ill timing, ill preparedness, and bad decision making. But this all (if true) makes this whole situation smell a little bit “fishy”, no pun intended.

    • I went to bed several nights ago after sifting searcher posts. The “something smells fishy” phrase came to me too, as well as one from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “Something smells rotten in Denmark.” After nearly 2 weeks reading thousands of posts, this is not an opinion. Things don’t add up, and that is a FACT.

  14. If something happened to Randy near the put in, you must account for why Leo, torn raft, paddles were found 9 miles downstream from car. Doesn’t add up.

    • It was my thought that something did happen to Randy at or very close to the put in. Maybe Raft got hung up in shallow spot, Randy exits to push or pull, something goes wrong, raft with Leo in it floats quickly downstream. Randy chases thru water. ( I am thinking of the bizarre noise a hiker heard, perhaps Randy’s whistle) Raft floats away Leo inside, eventually beaches, Leo jumps out. Raft is blown, sails, tumbles off into shrubs.

      BTW, s brief note from Linda on another site. Leo is 8/9 years old.
      I think that can be a fact.

      Another piece of info on raft, if you go to the link provided elsewhere
      On this thread for this specific raft, read the one review. Reviewer
      Person says raft is really just large enough for one adult and some small items.

    • Michael, John Brown told me the other day that he talked to Bob Rodgers each day, and that Bob was the one who told him they (IDK if it was rangers or NM SAR) had found tracks of a man and small dog presumed to be Randy’s and Leo’s entering Frijoles Canyon and exiting Frijoles Canyon. So is this a fact? Maybe if John Brown or Bob Rodgers would post it here.

      • From Linda Bilyeur’s blog: My daughter spoke with the ranger: The ranger said they did a thorough and extensive search and they found footprints that could “possibly” be Randy’s but they “possibly” looked like they came in and went out.

        • Linda mentions the footprints two more times in her blog, suggesting that the Bandelier Rangers have concluded Randy’s not there because of the footprints going in and out again, and that’s why they won’t search again:

          Sadly, the Frijoles Canyon will not be searched again. I understand it’s a dangerous area, but the family has right to be bummed because if he is there we might never know. They are sticking to the report from the Bandelier Rangers that footprints were discovered going in and out and heading south, SFPD does not have photos or evidence of this, “yet.”

          Do NOT tell me that a Ranger found footprints in and out of that area and yet there are no photos in the family’s possession to back that theory up!

          I’m quoting Linda because I’m assuming she is more likely to have the facts than the rest of us. That may be a poor assumption…

          • @SharmanfromMobile, “Sadly, the Frijoles Canyon will not be searched again.”

            It will be searched on foot again, later. However, it has been searched twice via helicopter.

      • A theory to consider using the tracks found in Frijoles.

        Randy waded across the river carrying Leo. Randy and Leo explore frijoles canyon. They exit the canyon looking for what? Another access point to an area near frijoles? Leo gets his paw raw from scratching at something. A rock? Did Randy fall into a crevasse somewhere in the vicinity of frijoles canyon and Leo scratched at a nearby rock trying to get to Randy?

        Questions in my mind are;
        Was it a front paw that was injured?
        Could Leo have swam back across the river to sit next to the raft?
        Did Randy wade back across the reo to search with Leo? Doubtful seeing their was no tracks around the raft showing a possible return to the site by Randy and Leo???

      • ?the one thing about the tracks found that is fact is a person cant tell if the tracks could be first coming out of the canyon first going to the river then going back in to the canyon. There isnt a way of telling witch way the tracks first came from unless some thing like the first time some one walked one way in snow and the tracks looked old because you cant make out a pattern on the bottom of the boots and the second set going the other way was in the mud or dirt after the snow melted away and shows the pattern of the bottom of the boots. That way when i took the pictures of the tracks i found i put a print of my step or boot to show the pattern of my boot print. It still could have been him even more likly him if the tracks went twards where the raft was found or to a spot where you can tell he could of pulled his raft up and relanched the raft to go to the other side to try and get out of the canyon sents he might not have been able to get out that way.

  15. Possible facts:

    o) Foot-powered air pump appears to have been connected to the inflatable boat, in the image

    o) Reported boat location: 35.748243, -106.257650

    o) Car: 35.835979, -106.160753

    o) Randy’s “solve” for the clues will not help find him

    o) Might be wearing a wet suit under his blue jacket; what color is the wet suit?

    • Hi David,

      Actually, the blue jacket was in his car, so he wasn’t wearing it.

      Also, we can not confirm the tracks in Frijoles actually belong to Randy and Leo. They could have been tracks from the SAR search the day before.

      • “Actually, the blue jacket was in his car, so he wasn’t wearing it.”

        Oh, crap. That makes it even harder to find him; I thought he was wearing the jacket. Damn. If he was wearing the wetsuit, and if the wetsuit is black, then… it’s no wonder he has not been seen from the air.

        As for NMSAR leaving the boot prints and dog prints in Frijoles, this is extremeley important to know. Gosh, vital in fact. It means Randy and Leo could have gone in, only Leo came out, and weathering erased their prints.

        If NMSAR left those prints, then my guess on where Randy is will change from up-river a mile or less, to inside Rito de los Frijoles lean Lower Falls, and specifically the west edge of Lower Falls.

        Damn. Who can state for sure if the boot prints going into and out of Frijoles is from NMSAR?

          • @Musstag, “Randy had black chest waders see pictures at thirtyacre.com/randy scroll down a ways… some one tell Desertphile of this”

            Thank you; I am wondering if he had both waders and a wet suit; perhaps it is the same item being reported with two different names. If it was a full wet suit, Randy would presumably not hike while wearing it. A wet suit drains; waders don’t drain. If it was a wet suit I’d say he’s on land; if waders, I’d say he’s in the lake.

      • NMSAR did not search up Lower Frijoles to the Falls, and no dog teams worked that side of the river. Only Park Service, who found the tracks.

        • “NMSAR did not search up Lower Frijoles to the Falls, and no dog teams worked that side of the river. Only Park Service, who found the tracks.”

          Ah, thank you. That means it is likely the boot prints show Randy went out as well as in. I was at the falls before the big fire, so I don’t know how the recent flooding changed the area, but— anyone who tries to climb around the falls from inside the canyon will find the task exceptionally difficult. The “easiest” routes are to leave the canyon, then try to climb around the canyon itself (and the falls) from the west side of Frijoles Canyon. It is much longer to hike.

          As it is, since the boot prints are probably Randy’s, I would not search Frijoles as a priority; if the boot prints were searchers’, then I’d search Frijoles from the air again.

          If I recall correctly, the falls were searched via helicopter twice. There are three places near the falls, and a half-dozen or so at the falls, where a person can fall and not be seen from the air. Given the boot prints going out the canyon, I’d look at these places last.

          • If those are, indeed, Randy’s and Leo’s footprints going in out of Frijoles Canyon then he saw the difficulty of attempting to reach Bandelier by continuing in that direction…especially with snow and ice on a steep slope. Randy also likely knew that Bandelier might be closed by the time he got there anyway…especially if he went in and out of Frijoles the same day he floated down. I read on the Bandelier website that they close at 4:30 PM.

            I’m thinking that maybe Randy attempted to get up to Highway 4 through Chaquehui Canyon just to the east. If it was getting late and dark, then it’s reasonable to assume that Randy would think he could make much better time without Leo…knowing he would have to physically carry Leo up most of the canyon. Randy likely already saw Leo limping or injured as well. Randy would know he’d need both of his hands while attempting to ascend the canyon.

            Also, Randy himself could have been injured from hitting rocks while floating down 9 miles of river with lots of rocks just under the surface. That’s an excellent point that has been mentioned.

            Anyway, it’s reasonable…under those circumstances…to think he might leave Leo behind and try to reach help by heading up Chaquehui Canyon toward Highway 4…and those buildings there at that highway curve. Perhaps it got dark really fast and/or he was too cold. Maybe he tried to find shelter and didn’t make it through the night. Maybe he slipped and fell somewhere while trying to make the ascent.

            I don’t know. I’m just trying to think what I might do if I was stuck there where Randy’s raft was found…and I was cold and semi-desperate…something that may have been overlooked.

            Maybe he attempted to cross the river in a different spot while heading in that direction…or even in the dark…with terrible consequence.

            I hope Randy is found soon.

          • @JC117, ” If it was getting late and dark, then it’s reasonable to assume that Randy would think he could make much better time without Leo….”

            I will die before I abandon my best friend (Albert). There is no way Randy would abandon his best friend, Leo.

            I think you are right; Randy could have tried to get to Highway 4; the problem is, there are four sheer sandstone faces in Chaquehui Canyon, each one impossible for a human to get around. Randy could have gone north to Highway 2 via Ancho Canyon, but he would need a good map.

          • Hi, Desertphile. That’s a classic example of how satellite photos are so deceiving vs. BOTG. Chaquehui Canyon looks so much more passable than Frijoles from the satellite view. It’s certainly dangerous terrain. This is quite the mystery.

        • Has there been confirmation from NMSAR regarding this?
          Maybe they don’t want to publicize it because of “jurisdiction”.

          Did the park service take photos of the prints?

          • Question not fact: newer car that had wireless keys? if so it transmit I would imagine. The signal may be strong enough to local perhaps if located near the car location. Else metal detector might be helpful in that area.

  16. o) River mapping tool says the distance from car to boat is 9.18 miles

    o) Search and Rescue reported a set of boot prints and dog prints were found going into Rito de los Frijoles and out again.

    o) There is a trail on the west bank of Rio Grande that makes foot traffic along the river vastly easier than hiking the east side.

    o) There is a trail, marked with rock cairns, that starts about 650 south of where the inflatable raft was found. The trail leads to the top of the east mesa rim.

    o) There is a foot trail leading from the end of County Road 24NB to the rim of Rio Grande, along which Randy (presumably) drew a dashed line.

    • For what it’s worth, I’m planning a trip Saturday down the Ancho Rapids Trail, from Highway 4 down to the west bank. If all goes well, hope to then make it down to Frijoles, which is 2.5 miles or so to the south. Farther would be great, but it’s already a long hike so we’ll see how it goes.

  17. Ugh…don’t get hung up on the boots and wallet. In the white beard and spongedog post, picture 23 of 25 shows Randy in a pair of chest wafers. They are chest, not hip waders, and made of neoprene. They offer good insulation and also flotation. This style of wader completely covers the feet, and a special pair of wading boots are worn over the neoprene covered feet. These wading boots are just like hiking boots. They are meant to get wet and are durable to stand up to Rocky stream bottoms. They are part of a system. He no doubt has these wading boots on, so didn’t need his hiking boots. Also, i believe f said the tear in the raft was on the floor, and it appears to be inflated fine. some water leaked into the raft, but with his waders on, he was fine and this was not an emergency landing on shore. The boat is stored upside down, that is the conventional way to store a boat on shore so it doesn’t fill with rain or snow. Lastly, I never take my car keys or wallet into the river when fishing or rafting. Why risk losing those important items, especially when there is absolutely nothing to purchase down in that canyon. A lot of people do that.

    • Homebrew, thanx for the clarification on the waders being “part of a system”. So, if Randy did plan on walking out and “the system” was intact, how far can a man of his stature walk in the waders? (This is a rhetorical question for all – not directed only to Homebrew.) Can anyone speak from experience?

      Also, I am in agreement that it is common for folks to leave valuables locked in a vehicle when playing near or in the water. However, what I have yet to hear from anyone in any context is whether or not his keys have been accounted for. Desertphile has searched the area where the car was left and did not find them. Has the vehicle been searched and were the keys found in a magnetic key holder or tucked into a bumper or frame someplace? If they are unaccounted for, then they may be on his person in his backpack or in a pocket. Does anyone know for certain that the keys are accounted for?

  18. National Park Service lists 3 designated hiking routes for Frioles Canyon trail.

    1. Leave one vehicle at the Visitor Center, then drive another to Ponderosa Campground, hike the trail to the Visitor Center, then drive the car you left there back to Ponderosa Campground. This is approximately an 8 mile hike.

    2. park at the Visitor Center, hike up the Long Trail then along the Frijoles Rim Trail to Upper Crossing, then down Frijoles Canyon back to the Visitor Center. This is approximately a 13 mile loop.

    3. Finally, simply park at the Visitor Center, hike up the canyon, then hike back down to the Visitor Center. The Narrows area is about 4 miles up canyon from the Visitor Center.

    • These trails are upstream from the visitor’s center. The area the search is concentrating on is downstream, typically called the Falls Trail. It follows the Rio de Frijoles from the visitor’s center down to the Rio Grande. There are 2 falls along the way, upper and lower. Since the floods, the trail has been impassable and very dangerous from the upper falls on down.

      • PM,
        Maybe your screen name should have been AM/PM because you sure do have the time of day!

        My notes are at home, so would you know of any of Leo’s paw prints very close to the river on the sandbar maybe going in the direction toward the lake? If so, could you describe them or post a pic please.
        Thank you

        • Unfortunately there were no reports of well-defined tracks on the bank on either side of the river – the river bank sand does not take a track as well as might be expected. The reported tracks in Frijoles were mostly in the canyon, in snow or mud, and became less well defined nearer the river. No definite tracks were reported on the east bank.

          • PM,
            You have stated:
            “Subjects lost in the river on that stretch of the Rio Grande in the past have ended up downstream in Cochiti Lake – unfortunately currently unsearchable due to ice.”

            How many subjects can you say from the past?
            Not to say his body is in the lake already, the subjects may have been lodged somewhere in between. Is there a particular pattern or area in the lake where they have been found?

            The lake ice has thawed some & high temps in the 50’s until maybe Sunday would thaw it more.

            Do you know of any plans for a recovery mission in the lake anytime soon?


          • Unfortunately, or maybe I should say fortunately, there are too few incidents and so not enough data to answer the question. I only mentioned it to illustrate that Cochiti Lake is a real possibility.

          • Thank you PM,
            Rarely you have been stumped.
            Yes Cochiti Lake is a possibility, considering much of the searchable area is underwater & cannot bee hiked, seen or smelled to my knowledge.
            But, there is sonar & the weather is permitting for a bit.

      • Hello PM. Viewed this photo again, as well as, the others in regards to the raft. In the direction of the tear and the head of the raft, can it be determined if Randy hit the sharp object going forward or backwards? If he hit it, could the raft have turned the opposite direction and he tried to correct it, perhaps breaking the paddle? When I saw the tear, I was surprised of the shape because I was expecting a “straight line” tear.

        • I’m not sure that the photos provide enough information to make such detailed deductions. It appears to be an L-shaped tear, which is normal for that kind of material, but exactly how it happened is hard to say.

          • PM,
            You have stated:
            “Subjects lost in the river on that stretch of the Rio Grande in the past have ended up downstream in Cochiti Lake – unfortunately currently unsearchable due to ice.”

            How many subjects can you say from the past?
            Not to say his body is in the lake already, the subjects may have been lodged somewhere in between. Is there a particular pattern or area in the lake where they have been found?

            The lake ice has thawed some & high temps in the 50’s until maybe Sunday would thaw it more.

            Do you know of any plans for a recovery mission in the lake anytime soon?


  19. Also he sent a message to his daughter saying the area was dangerous. Forrest has said the treasure in not in an inherently dangerous area. So why did he tell his daughter that?

    I read an article said Randy is from Bloomfield, Colorado. That is near Denver. The false post about his body being found originated from Denver. Have the authorities checked out who made that post? Was it someone who knew Randy? Was it Randy?

    • Randy is from Broomfield, Colorado. Read on the blog someone said it came from a library in Wheat Ridge, not Denver, Colorado. (Although, neighboring cities.) I had read it was confirmed it came from the library. Is this true?

  20. If the dog was found near the raft and the two are inseperable, a possibility is that Randy crossed the river, considering he did have the apparel for wading.

    A good search box perimeter would be 1 miles down river and and 1 miles on either side, then radiate outward by .5 miles.

  21. As far as I know, the car has not been searched and the keys have not been accounted for. If the car is of new vintage and of a style to have a smart key, then all the more reason for Randy to hide the key and keep it dry. They are expensive to replace. Check next to the gas cap, behind the license plate, tucked below the windshield wipers, in the wheel well…

    • I know the car was opened after a search warrant was executed, but I have not heard where we can get a summation of what all was found inside of it. Perhaps that information was released to the family and they might be willing to share it with those of us still working on recovering Randy.

    • “As far as I know, the car has not been searched and the keys have not been accounted for.”

      Presumably that was thought of by search and rescue, and police. It does not help any though. Saturday I searched the car area looking for hidden keys.

      • I am holding out hope that the keys are on a lanyard with the whistle and that he could still be able to use it. This is a slim hope, but it is one I still have.

        • As well, an insignificant fact may bring to light Randy’s whereabouts in a roundabout way. I am trying not to let any stone be unturned. And sitting here in MN, it’s kind of tough to do.

  22. I don’t think many can deny he showed signs of irrational behavior. So all bets are off.

    I couldn’t help but notice he was right on the boundary for the Los Alamos Testing area. That sure would account for the “dangerous” comment. I don’t see walking nine miles as life-threatening. It was something else. And I could sure see him getting shot for entering that area.

  23. Fact Charts:

    Pic 1 Weather Chart Los Alamosa NM 1/1/16-1/25/16


    Pic 2 Sun Rising/Setting Chart Los Alamos NM1/1/16-1/31/16


    Pic3 Moon Phases 1/1/16-1/31/16 Santa Fe NM 1/1/16-1/23/16


    Pic 4 Sun Azimuths Rise/Set Los Alamos NM 1/5/16


    Pic 5 River Conditions:

    (Working on)


    Weather Underground

    US Naval Observatory

  24. One more thought on Randy possibly wearing wading boots instead of his hiking boots. These wading boots would be about an extra size bigger than his hiking boots, in order to accommodate the neoprene stocking feet. It seems I read something earlier about some size 13 footprints. Sorry if this doesn’t belong here Dal, i will try and get back to the facts.

  25. I don’t recall any mention of whether Randy had a cell phone and if so, have his cell records been checked for when it was last used?

    • Do we have his phone number? And have any phone tracker devices been tried? Don’t all smartphones emit an electrical field and is there a way to detect that field even if phone service isn’t available? I assumed these avenues have been pursued but I can’t find any reference to them.

      • Yes, State SAR already had his phone pinged. I don’t know Why Dal has not put this in the facts… along with when and how SAR conducted their search on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after he was reported missing.

  26. Randy had taken pictures at Frijoles a few weeks before he went missing.

    With the exception of the raft, Leo, and the car and contents, nothing of Randy’s has been found during searching.

    Not sure if this can be considered a fact; Randy told a friend that the chest was behind a waterfall.

    The raft , paddles, and pump were found on a sandbar on the east side of the Rio just south of Frijoles.

    The raft was found upside down away from the river.

    A lot of area has been searched; by air and on foot as well as with dogs.

    Searchers have been down to the area were the raft was found. ( the initial searchers that found Leo and the helicopter with Mr.Fenn) I don’t know if more than those have been down there.

    Randy’s plan of his time((Jan.5th) that he expected to be out searching for the TC is a mystery.

    Essentials were found in Randy’s car.

    There has been no signs of Randy, or a help signal found.

    Randy has been missing for 21(?) days.

    Randy did not tell where he was going.

    A lot of good people have searched, and are searching, for Randy. And that’s a fact!

  27. Fact: Anyone who enters the Los Alamos Testing area, especially with a camera, is going to be met by their “Welcoming Party” and who knows if they will even let that person call their lawyer. Kinda like a dog that has been quarantined, maybe let them out in thirty days–or not.

    • “Fact: Anyone who enters the Los Alamos Testing area, especially with a camera, is going to be met by their “Welcoming Party” and who knows if they will even let that person call their lawyer. Kinda like a dog that has been quarantined, maybe let them out in thirty days–or not.”

      This is neither helpful, nor true.

      • PM, do you work with LANL and know your statement to be a FACT? This is important. The public is kept away from Area 51 by cameras, threatening signs, etc.. I’m prepping to unsubscribe from the blog. Anyone following the search for Randy since it began knows it’s extremely time consuming. Personal reality calls….

        • I can confirm, with complete certainty, that anyone who strays onto LANL property will not be shot (unless they shoot first) and that while they may be arrested for trespassing, they will not be detained contrary to their regular constitutional rights.

          The Area 51 comparison is pointless, and it is best to avoid the subject in any intelligent conversation. The entire Nevada Test Site is off limits to the public, for obvious reasons, and the specific security measures in place at any of the areas are pure conjecture in public discussion.

  28. Fact: Missing person dressed in chest waders can not be found, last none location vicinity of river near raft and pet dog, presumed to have succumbed to accidental drowning or some other accident nearby on land but unprofessional to announce to next of kin as of now. Fact if body can’t be found after a period of time then courts can declare deceased. Fact Dal’s Blog has a lot of loving and caring people who all think alike when it comes to searching for TC and have done all they can do to help try and rescue Randy.

  29. Almost the number one fact is most believe Randy would not have left Leo!! Leo found his way back to the raft and only Leo knows where Randy is!!! Where is the Dog whisperer when you need him? MS. Girl

  30. “13. The raft and oars appear to have been placed carefully where found”
    This is speculation, IMO. I guess it’s a “fact” that it does “appear” that way. But whether or not Randy placed them there is an assumption based on appearance.

    • I saw the picture of where the helicopter landed and where the raft was,its a good distance from the main river,I don’t see any drag marks or foot prints or when the raft was being dragged on the land up to where it was put ,nothing looks squashed,maybe I just don’t know how things are suspose to look in a situation like this,just seems weird.

  31. I hate to think that Randy had a medical emergency while wearing his chest waders, perhaps while trying to cross the river, but I can’t seem to shake it. His boots, raft and DOG were left behind. If that is the case, his waders could have benn filled with water if he was hunched over and not allowed for his body to float. Are there any rocks, tree limbs or anything in the river nearby that could cause someone to get stuck in the river and unfortunately drown?

    • I have read similar suppositions on this site. Fact. Randy had neoprene fishing waders on. Fact. They do not fill up with water. Fact. They are excellent insulation, designed for a person to stand in water all day fishing. Fact. One can wear any kind of shoes one wishes with them. Fact. A photo of Randy wearing these waders was posted. Fact. I own 2 pair.

      • Babylon, I’m hoping you get this message. As a wader owner, would you knowingly plan to hike over rough terrain 9 miles in your waders after a day on the river? I am asking because I have never worn any for any reason and I am trying to ascertain if Randy’s exit strategy entailed walking that far in his waders. Thanx for any insight you can lend to this puzzle.

  32. Understand that the east side of the river would have afforded afternoon sunlight and the west side would give you early morning warmth, so if he could not make a fire and was cold because the water got above his waders in a dousing in the Rio, what would you seek?

    Stay on the East side where the raft was or try for the West side where the sunshine came in the afternoon? Civilization was about the same distance down stream as up. My experience in search and rescue was from US Navy and we taught our pilots, recon’s and sailors to head down rather than up.

    Up is especially hard if you are hurt or out of food and fire in cold weather, sometimes a lost person will take the path of least resistance, down to the Cochati Lake area makes more sense.

    Tom T

  33. I have spent many hours thinking about Randy. In truth, we don’t know much about him, or his circumstances over the last several weeks.

    I have been analyzing what we know, and it is especially hard to separate the facts and the assumptions. Let me give some examples of each:

    Fact: Randy owned a blue backpack, which hasn’t been found.
    Assumption: Randy had the backpack with him.

    Fact: Leo and the raft were found together on a sandbar.
    Assumption: Randy was on that sandbar, at some point.

    Fact: Randy purchased a raft. He also purchased waders.
    Assumption: He purchased a wetsuit. (wet suit and waders are not the same thing, and we have seen a picture of Randy in waders, but not proof of a wetsuit, so it is possible the two were confused….see what I mean?)

    Facts are things we can prove, and assumptions are, well, assumptions. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they are true. We can’t prove Randy took his backpack, nor can we prove he was on the sandbar with Leo, not can we prove he purchased a wetsuit, let alone prove what he was wearing. We can’t even prove Randy got into the raft with Leo at any point.

    The other thing we have is possible hints to Randy’s possible location. We have a map that was left in Randy’s car(fact), with markings Randy made on it(assumption), with a location Randy intended to reach(another assumption). We don’t know if he ever made it to his intended destination, or even how close he may have came. We also have a hint to what day he disappeared, but we can’t be sure about that either.

    I have gathered so much information about Randy over the last week, but most of it isn’t fact, or it doesn’t help us find him. Assumptions can’t be trusted.

    There are so many theories to where he could be at this time. We have more theories to check out than time and good weather for doing it. So many things are possible, and I know everyone still has a million questions. If we have the answers, we share them, when it is appropriate. But, for most of the questions, we don’t have real answers.

    • Thanks Sacha for clearly pointing out some of the difficulties in separating fact from assumptions. You make great points. One question I asked above that I hope you can help answer: has anyone tried using a cell phone tracker on Randys phone? I haven’t seen that addressed anywhere. Also, has anyone obtained his cell records to help narrow down the last usage of his phone? I believe the trackers are satellite based and a negative result earlier on may not be dispositive and maybe it should be tried again. I know you have a lot on your plate so I apologize in advance if this is just a distraction. Thanks.

      • “One question I asked above that I hope you can help answer: has anyone tried using a cell phone tracker on Randys phone?”

        Yes. There are issues, though, with doing so. The “ranging” function will be tracked to the nearest cellular tower, or more than one, with all towers logging the hand held device’s signal strength—- it is assumed that the tower with the strongest signal was closest to the hand held device. If only one tower logs a roaming phone, then location is pretty wide: 12 miles or so. If more than one tower logs a device, that helps narrow the location because one can assume the strongest signal is the starting search area, and the weak signal(s) give the direction to look from that point.

        If I recall correctly, Randy’s phone was logged as most likely being last used near the Park’s visitor’s center.

        • @Desertphile–thanks for the info. Do you recall where the information you referred to was reported? My understanding is that some trackers can access text messages on the phone and even photos. Was that attempted as well?

          • @Raven, “thanks for the info. Do you recall where the information you referred to was reported? My understanding is that some trackers can access text messages on the phone and even photos”

            It is all a vast mystery to me, and the technology has past me by (I still use whale oil lamps; kidding), but I think telephones must be designed to send locations, and a service “on the other end” must be running to record those locations. Satellite trackers are vastly superior, since they cover the planet better than cellular telephone. It is likely there is no telephone service in Rio Grande Gorge.

          • Re the phone – I read where his phone was turned off. Probably to save the battery. So, if Randy EVER made it out of the canyon – above the rim – wouldn’t he have turned it on and called someone? Does anyone know if a cell phone would work above the raft on the east side mesa?

          • That’s a very interesting question. Have searchers been using their cells up on the mesa, or only radios? That should be easy to confirm.

            If there is service up there, that leaves 2 possibilities (neither a fact):
            a) Randy never made it to the top, or
            b) HIs battery was dead by the time he did.

        • According to Linda Bilyeur (her blog), “Last call was on Jan 5th at 8:17 am. A call from his friend, Tom that went to voicemail. He was one hour away from the river.” I read somewhere else that the location was in Santa Fe (where we know he was on 1/4) but I don’t know if that’s a fact.

        • Cell phones use towers for phone calls and other apps. Turn by turn directions are used through towers as well …. But your gps maps and tracking does use the satellites. This is with most new phones. This is also how your maps still work when you don’t have a signal.

          Now what it would take to get the cell provider to look up those reading I am not sure but I don’t think it could be just anyone. So maybe the Rangers SAR would be able to get this done.

          I would like to find out more on this “friend”. Was he or she with him ? What is he saying happened? And I can only think of one reason to go to a library and post something and that would be to hide my IP address. But went lirarys keep cams in tbar area and they also require a ID to get on a computer. It would take much to find out who really did that.

          But I am still getting up to speed here and setting up a profile for. Search area. These were just two things that came to mind real fast.

    • Sacha, I concur. We have a lot of conjecture about things that may have happened, but far fewer real facts to go on. I really appreciate Dal posting this thread to get to the bottom of the facts. No matter how trivial or unimportant something may appear, this is a great place to simply list out all the facts that we know so everyone involved has a common point to come back to.

      Thanx for all you have been doing for searching for Randy.

    • @Sacha, “We don’t know if he ever made it to his intended destination, or even how close he may have came. We also have a hint to what day he disappeared, but we can’t be sure about that either.”

      Worse yet, it appears that no one knows what Randy planned for his exit route. If he meant to use the boat, then knowing his plan does not help anyone.

      We cannot know if Randy thought Rito de los Frijoles is “Home of Brown,” though his map’s notation suggests so.

    • A plausible theory is that Randy was wearing his waders and not his wet suit. He may have decided to wade across the Rio from his raft. GE shows a deep hole in the river near his raft. Is it possible that when wading across he stepped into that deep hole, his waders filled up with water and took him straight to the bottom? I have a friend who fell of a boat in the bayous of Louisiana wearing waders, He disappeared and wasn’t found until the next spring when his body floated up. Maybe some SAR diver should check that hole out…just a theory.

    • Well said…your points are excellent and spot on.

      I’m curious want footprints were around the raft/sandbar when the first person who inspected the raft area arrived? Probably too late now as many have been in the area but it seems like Randy would have left many tracks ASSUMING Randy was actually on that sandbar with the dog and raft…

    • “If we have the answers , we share them when its appropriate”
      what exactly does that mean? If you are in this to find Randy all info is time sensitive .
      I think there are serious holes in this whole thing because people aren’t sharing all they know.

  34. Long shot: There is a boat ramp on the east side of the lake, are there any abandoned cars on the ramp area? Randy may have planed to get out and ride back from there. May have planed on calling for ride or catching some fisherman as they were leaving.

    • “I just can’t get over the fact that the dog and the raft were together. Why would Leo not follow Randy?”

      It is extremely likely that Leo did follow Randy, and stayed with Randy several days. Leo then went back to the river for water, and stayed there.

      • That is another important point. How long had Leo been on the sand bar? Had he just arrived hours before he was discovered or had he been there several days?

        • Fact. The dog showed up after the chopper landed. It is not a fact that Leo stayed or hung out by the raft. Thesis: it is possible that Leo heard the chopper land (because they saw the raft ) and came to investigate the sound, etc. Fact. It took almost 30 mins. for rescuers to tempt Leo close enough to grab.

    • Where were these items purchased, locally in Santa fe, or in Colorado? Might he have spoken to a store clerk about his planned trip down the Rio Grande?

    • Martin I believe you are correct. There is also a picture he sent someone with a picture of his new raft on his car hood with Leo inside the car from the Big 5 parking lot. This is from his ex-wife’s website:

      January 4th – Purchased the raft from Big 5 Sporting Goods. Texted one friend. Spoke with another. Also texted his sister. Checked out the river. Mentioned that he also has a GPS, wetsuit and waders.


      • To be more precise: Only the raft was purchased in SFe for sure. Waders would APPEAR to have been bought somewhere else, presumably in CO since Randy is pictured modeling them in what I ASSUME to be his residence.

  35. I know this is going to sound stupid,but do you think for some reason he decided to just leave the united states could not take dog with him,so left him with raft,knowing the dog would be found..its just so mysterious ,nobody can find him.

  36. Does anyone know how are from the entrance of Frijoles Canyon it was to where the raft and Leo were found?

    All of Randy’s notes on the map center around the entrance and up in the canyon. It is possible he had finished his search got in the raft to go down stream and at some point between the entrance of the canyon and where the raft was found he ripped the bottom in low water, used the paddle push off, it broke, and the raft won’t inflate anymore. Now he has to find the quickest/shortest way out….not necessarily the easiest…..it’s getting dark….he put the raft, paddles, and pump as a marker and started walking. So to me, the question is which is the shortest route?

  37. @Tom
    I think you were hinting at my response. My thought is if I had become wet for whatever reason, I would shoot for sunlight of course. My assumption is that if he didn’t have a medical emergency and he did just get wet, those waters are freezing, the air temperature is not much above freezing, so I would get out of the water and make a fire. If that isn’t going to happen, I would try and keep my core temperature up (make a blanket with the raft and stuff grass for insulation) and make a direct line back to my vehicle to get warm and try to seek help. Hypothermia doesn’t take much in this weather. However, I think there may have been an emergency that he was not equipped to help himself and there appears (from searchers notes), that he did not attempt to walk to his vehicle.

  38. BW –

    “Does anyone know how are from the entrance of Frijoles Canyon it was to where the raft and Leo were found?” ,,,,,,,,,,, 9.2 miles

    If you blow up the raft photo – the rip is right above the blue hose of the pump. Looks to me like he hit a rock.

    I don’t believe Randy was ever at the raft location – pure conjecture – but there is just no sign of him being there.

    • inthechase…..It was 9.2 miles from his car to where the raft was found. Frijoles Canyon is close to where the raft was found.

      • Goofy, since the water was so low, I see no reason for him to “over shoot” his intended search area…..to me the “circle E” everyone sees, I see a raft with an “E” for exit raft…..Of course you must remember, I am the one who saw six legs on the elephant in one of the scrapbooks. 🙂 I believe he finished his search got back in the raft then had trouble, brought the raft to shore and he and Leo took off walking.

    • I think you may have meant to say that it is 9.2 miles from Randy’s car downriver to where his raft was found. The raft was on the east side of the river, and across the vicinity of the mouth of Frioles Canyon. Coordinates needed here.

      I disagree with your conjecture. It is very strong conjecture that Randy went ashore here, and carefully stored his raft, oars, and pump far from waters edge in the bushes where they would not be blown away. It is anyone’s guess what he did after that.

      • Homebrew; That is my guess also. With the Raft being left at the east side of the river far below – he rafted, and had to exit. Was this his intentional place to exit or b/c maybe the raft was damaged he exited there. From this point – exactly who knows, but seems to be below his intended search area and was going to exit. IMO any exit points at the location from the raft should be explored.

  39. OK, so if it is a fact that he purchased his raft at Big 5 Sporting Good in Santa Fe, it may be worth bringing a photo of Randy and his dog into the store, and asking if anyone there spoke with Randy. We are desperate for a lead.

  40. Men only leave there wallets in the car if there getting in the water Sounds to me he was looking for hidey spots in the waters edges if he had his waders on .

    • Not necessarily DG,
      But I get your point.
      Most of us will take our wallet with us until we are getting ready to go in the water.
      So, I think your right on here. He was planning on getting wet from where he parked.

  41. Need to also know what kind of waders he was wearing. I know a man that drown not long ago because his filled up with water and it drug him down that river needs to be searched

  42. I don’t know if this is the place to put this but wanted to give some perspective about this. I am not a searcher but have followed the Fenn treasure hunt out of curiosity to see if anyone should ever find it.
    To start with I had a dog very similar to Leo. She was a Maltese Poodle cross of some sort and about the same size as Leo. These dogs get very very dedicaded to one individual. Once they decide who their master is they will stand by them to the end. I fished a lot in rivers that from the pictures of this area on the Rio Grande are very similar. Rather than wear waders that you eventually always would get water in I wore old hiking shoes and waded across the rivers sometimes chest deep. That dog would swim back and forth no matter what wherever I went. Sometimes in faster water she would end up downstream a ways but eventually she would get across and back to me. I am telling you this so you can get an idea how dedicated they can be. Just cause they are small doesn’t mean they can’t swim. All dogs swim naturally unless they have a fear of water that somehow they don’t get over.
    Whatever happened to Randy I would bet it happened very near where the dog was found. People have drowned in water they could have just stood up in. Many have felt he couldn’t have ended up in the lake because it’s too shallow. Evidently the river there has a very sandy bottom. Think about how water moving over objects erodes material out from around it. In the time Randy was gone the body could have moved ever so slowly until it ended up in the lake.
    Just knowing how that type of a dog behaves I can’t see it not being with it’s owner unless it was impossible. Hurt paw or whatever if Randy was on land anywhere near the dog would have been there also even if he had to go for water and then go back. I would almost bet anything Randy somehow ended up in the lake

  43. Should have asked this days ago…Would definitely place Randy at the raft/Leo found location…The photos of the med chopper that discovered the raft and Leo…One of the two men aboard did some searching around the immediate area while Erin tried to coax Leo to her…Thus the photos of the chopper from different locations and angles…

    One searcher pointed out suspected drag marks on the sand bar the raft made when taken up into the shrubbery…Randy would have to have left footprints in the sand to get the raft there if he did so…To my knowledge there was never a mention of any footprints on the sand bar…There should have been both Leo’s and Randy’s prints there if they came off the river…

    Any way to recheck with Erin and the med chopper crew on this?…I know it won’t help find him really, but it would make the fact that Randy was really there with Leo when they landed on the east bank…This would end speculation of other scenarios such as a river spill and separation, etc….

    • State SAR searched that area the Saturday after they picked up Leo. They would have reported anything they saw to the proper authorities.

  44. Fact: according to historical observations at white rock weather station from 1/15-1/20 prevailing winds were in either south-south east or south-south west.

    Assumption: this was period of time when air scent dogs were used by NMSAR and may have influenced directionality of that detection.

    • I think that I posted previously that when the NMSAR dog team was deployed at the raft site on 1/17, the wind was down river, i.e out of the N/NW.

      • That is correct along with the facts that State SAR was also in the area on the Friday and Saturday before the 17th. They also had dog teams out on the 16th. Deal, please put that in the details, because people keep askingaboutwhen dogs were first used.

  45. Some missing facts from the list at the top (Dal has not updated).

    ?) What estimated time did Randy park 9.18 miles up river from where the raft was found?

    ?) What flow rate of Rio Grande at that point; I assume about 570 cubic feet a second.

    ?) What is the estimate earliest time Randy could have been at Frijoles?

    ?) Where did the Ranger think maybe she or he heard a whistle, and what time?

    I’m trying to “second guess” Randy’s exist route; I assume he would only spend an hour or less at his search site before trying to go back to his car. The amount of time he had might suggest which route he thought he could take safely.

    • DP, Otowi Bridge is the closest place I can find to Randy’s venture where the USGS collects discharge data & gauge height of the Rio.


      Let me know if there is a closer point.
      I think this would be similar river conditions this time of year.
      As you will see the river is fairly tame from the end of Dec.

      • @, “Jake Faulker “DP, Otowi Bridge is the closest place I can find to Randy’s venture where the USGS collects discharge data & gauge height of the Rio.”

        Ah, thank you. Doing the math… 9.18 miles… convert cubic feat to average 12 inch depth (cutting river gauge by Pi) average 22 feet width… just short of five miles per hour with the math done in my head, About 110 minutes if he did not stop, which perhaps is not likely— he might have seen what he could have believed to be “clues.”

        Someone my age, walking the west bank, could get to his car in about 4.5 hours; on the east bank it would take a person my age closer to 50 hours if she or he knew exactly the route to take and if there were no problems. There are several deep arroyos in the way as well as a canyon, and there are cattle trails going into the arroyos and out again, but they are difficult to find in the dark.

        An athlete in top form could *NOT* have done the trip, via the east bank, during one day’s worth of daylight winter hours; I bloody hell could not, nor could anyone I’ve ever met. It makes me think, again, that Randy had planned on floating down to the lake with the treasure chest, and he did not make contingency plans for a ruined boat.

        Randy could have made it to his car if he stopped searching for the treasure around noon, crossed the river to the west bank, hiked north nine miles, then crossed the river again to his car.

        My best guess is still:

        1) Randy did not know there is a foot path going up the east cliff, about 650 feet south of the raft; if he had known it was there, I assume he would not have bothered with the raft— he would have parked where he parked before (end of Co Rd 24), and walked to Frijoles.

        2) The inflatable boat was part of Randy’s exit plan.

        3) Leo returned to the raft on his own, days after Randy got in trouble, to get drinking water.

        4) Randy took the east bank route, with Leo, along the river, and did his best to stay out of the river when he met the many obstructions in the way.

        5) I think he took the east bank, not the west bank, because the west bank is vastly easier to walk, even in the dark, and he might be home with Leo right now if he had.

        As it is, if Randy climbed the east cliff via the trail or the arroyo to the south, his drinking water would have frozen that night if he had not already consumed it.

        • DP,
          1. Yea, doubt he knew about East Rim Trail. Beside it’s been checked several times by SAR w/dogs to boot.
          2. The inflatable boat was part of Randy’s exit plan. Maybe he abandoned this plan after realizing the tear?
          3. Leo returned to the raft on his own, days after Randy got in trouble, to get drinking water. I don’t think so, Leo could not have traveled very far considering the very few areas to go for him.
          4. Randy took the east bank route, with Leo, along the river, and did his best to stay out of the river when he met the many obstructions in the way. Yea, maybe, you can only go a few hundred meters in either direction from the raft.
          5. I think he took the east bank, not the west bank, because the west bank is vastly easier to walk, even in the dark, and he might be home with Leo right now if he had. I would think Randy didn’t know about the path(s) on the west bank. I think your right there.

          6. After compiling all the evidence, I believe he is in water between his raft & Cochiti Lake or in Cochiti Lake itself.

          7. Cochiti Lake needs to be searched considering the weather will be permitting the next few days.
          Maybe a few dives….

          • @Jake Faulker, “After compiling all the evidence, I believe he is in water between his raft & Cochiti Lake or in Cochiti Lake itself.”

            Yeah, darn it; I give that a 60% chance of being right if he was wearing waders; 40% if he had a wet suit on instead. I hate thinking of poor Leo seeing his best friend washed down river.

        • I don’t think we should underestimate human will here. 9.2 miles is a distance that is not unsurmountable. My son entered an ultramarathon last weekend, and he covered 85 miles in 24 hours before his body gave out. I’ve climbed mt. Albert and others in Colorado, and all 46 peaks in the Adirondacks over 4000 feet leading trips for kids. On flat terrain we cover 3 miles per hour, and on steep or difficult terrain we cover 1 mile per hour. I am a few years older than Randy. Unless the terrain is just cliffs or somehow unhikeable, IMO it seems reasonable to me that Randy could have hiked the distance.

          • @HomeBrew, “Unless the terrain is just cliffs or somehow unhikeable, IMO it seems reasonable to me that Randy could have hiked the distance.”

            The most direct route via the east mesa for 9 miles northward is indeed impassible by humans in less than 50 hours, and likely would take a great deal longer; pay me $5,000 and I might consider hiking it, but for bloody hell damn sure not in winter. There is a massive canyon to go around, and a dozen deep arroyos. If Randy wanted to go north via the east mesa, he would go need to where he had parked his car in the past (end of Road 24), then walk west five miles, then walk along a road about 12 miles. He would come out on road 77, and get a ride.

            I doubt he did any of this; while he made some horrible mistakes, he was not stupid.

            One needs to actually see the terrain to barely comprehend just how difficult it is to cross.

            Seems to me Randy followed the river northward, along the east bank.

          • Desertphile, that’s such great information about how far out of the way Randy would have had to walk going out the East side versus going out the West side. If Randy did know this and considered it when he scoped out the place earlier, then it does make sense that he simply planned to trudge back up the river along the banks in his waders, as it was the most direct route back to his car. Or as you have postulated, perhaps he did cross the river to take the easier trail out.

            Hmmmm, that changes things for me, as I had been thinking about an Eastern ridge exit as the “easiest”, when in fact it sounds like it would have been the more difficult way out of the gorge.

            Someone else, I forget who just now, has wondered if the laptop found in the car has been searched yet for clues as to what he was thinking for an exit strategy. If we knew it, then we could simply back track from the raft the route he intended to take.

    • Julie heard the “bizarre noise” at “around 11.” She was “about 1/4 mile south of Buckman.” I assume that means 1/4 mile south of the end of Old Buckman Rd where she parked. She was on the Soda Springs Trail.

      • Was the ” bizarre noise” ever described more fully or more detail?
        A scream, a wail, human sound, animal sound, rocks crashing, etc.?

      • I believe these are 2 FACTS that can added to the timeline of events on Jan 5th:

        1) 8:17 am: According to Linda Bilyeu’s blog, Randy’s cell phone receives call from friend Tom, which goes directly to voicemail. Apparently, “He was one hour away from the river” when that call came in. I don’t know her source for that info.

        2) 11am, approx: As Sharman pointed out, Julie has written that she heard a “bizarre noise” and that she was “about 1/4 mile south of Buckman” at the time, on the Soda Springs TraiI. She had parked at the end of Old Buckman Rd.

        I wonder:
        1) Did Julie see Randy’s car also parked at the end of Buckman?
        2) Could the “noise” have been his whistle? We know exactly what whistle he had, could Julie recognize it if she heard it again?
        3) But, why would he have whistled?

        If Randy got to the river about an hour after the phone call, it would’ve been about 9:15, probably a bit later given the road conditions, say 9:30 or so. Say it takes him about 90 minutes to unbox/prep the brand new raft, feed himself and Leo, get everything ready, put the waders on, secure the car and hop in the river. 11:00am – about the time of the “noise”. If the whistle sound matched the noise, that would give some credence to when Randy actually embarked and maybe corroborate a time frame for when he might’ve landed at the sandbar – assuming he did.

        • Addendum:
          Per Linda Bilyeu’s blog, “His phone was finally properly pinged by the NMSAR. Last call was on Jan 5th at 8:17 am. A call from his friend, Tom that went to voicemail. He was one hour away from the river. Supposedly Randy landed his raft on the sandbar about 1-2pm.”

          So, it took approx. 2-3 hrs to float from point A to point B? Does that sound right? If flow was about 5mph, I guess so.

          • I agree. While visiting last summer, I noticed the sun going behind the mountains and causing dark shadows and it was early evening. When I started noticing this, I made sure the family started heading out from where we were, which wasn’t too far from the road, but still in the woods.

          • Linda’s blog says nmsar pinged his phone, and on Jan. 5th at 8:17 a.m.”he was one hour away from the river”. Huh? Is this intended to mean one hour away by walking (or driving?) from where his car was found? A distance in miles from a tower, or his car, would be useful. How can “an hour away” be stated? As stated this information is not useful. An hour away from the river… Does not give us a much, it just says he was not on the river but within a mile of the river banks, and it is a very long river. Coincidentally, Google maps tells me that it is an hour drive from motel 6 in Santa fe to where his car was parked. He checked out of the Motel 6 on jan. 3rd. Was he in santa fe at 8:17 a.m.? Any clarification available?

        • takes about 10 min to inflate the raft, so if he arrived by around 9:15, then he was in the water no later than 10 am. That odd whistle or noise, I would not attribute to him.

          • Iron – Yeh maybe, if you’re already familiar with the raft. But it was brand new, right out of the box, so I dunno. Plus, you’ve got to factor in all the other contingencies and side prep required. But, I get your point….
            Rethinking stuff, I now believe Julie may have missed him by a day. Read on.

            Homey – I agree about questioning how the distance was determined by SAR. That was my point about how long it actually could take to get from in-town SFe out to the end of Buckman, i.e., the “contingencies”. If I were driving from in-town to there, it’s easily 45 minutes, but only if the road is in good shape and dry. You pose a good question: Was he in SFe at 8:17am – on the 4th? I think maybe so……

            ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

            As stated above, he checked out of the motel on the 3rd.
            On the 4th, he buys the raft and takes a snap of it on his car hood. It appears from the shadows in the picture that it was taken in the am.

            So, since he was obviously still in town the next morning, where did he stay the night of the 3rd?

            So, he gets the raft early on the 4th. Then what? Drives out on Old Buckman? Car-camps until the next day, the 5th, when the security guy notices his car? Or, had he launched the day before?

            I think I read somewhere (not sure where now) that he car-camped on the 4th. At the end of Buckman? If so, he would’ve gotten a much earlier start to the day on the 5th. And the “bizarre noise”/whistle would not be related.

            But, if I’m mis-remembering, and he car-camped on the 3rd, then he was most likely down river on the 4th and long gone from Buckman by the 5th, when the whistle was heard.

            Just suppossin’…

    • Might take this into consideration…..IF Randy left his raft and Leo went with him, wether he was wet or not , and his exit route was to head for the Mesa top on the east side then maybe when they reached the Mesa top Randy was sweaty and hot, and possibly running out of daylight…..he would then cool down and get in a bind because of the temps along with being sweaty……..I remember what Sacha or Cynthia said about how they had a hard time finding the truck when they were out there and they were parked on the Mesa top using gps….IF Randy became disoriented because of the cold or for any other reason and went the wrong direction and night came, then he possibly could have headed for a light ( possibly a tower, distant community etc ). In desperate need of help…then something happened along the way and after a while then Leo returned to the raft. A scenario like this would put Randy on a path not consistent with his map or anything with his search……. If your lost , cold and nighttime upon you and you know you may not make it if you stop, he may have headed for a light where there might be help….my question is this….. From above the raft on the Mesa top, what lights , if any , can be seen from there after dark ? And has a path towards any lights been searched ?
      It just seems like all the immediate areas have been looked at..so we need to think other paths Randy may have taken in desperate needs………just a thought….see ya

  46. I still think that Randy was trying to get to civilization by the shortest route possible after having trouble with his raft and it getting late in the day. He had probably been in Frijoles Canyon with Leo, in my opinion, and knew he couldn’t climb out of it. Also Forrest stated, after flying over it, that he didn’t think anyone could climb up out of the bottom of Frijoles.

    It’s about 10 plus miles to civilization going down to the lake. It’s probably over 12 miles going up the east side and back to his car. But going up the west rim somewhere will get him to civilization in about 3 miles or less. That’s definitely the route I would take if Frijoles was not possible. So I think he could have tried walking up the west side of the river, leaving Leo safely on the east sandbar, and then climbed up the first plausible route to the canyon rim. This could be up the next canyon to the north of Frijoles on the west side. This appears more feasible on Google Earth than does Frijoles Canyon. Has anyone searched this canyon or the slopes coming up from this canyon?

    • @John, “Also Forrest stated, after flying over it, that he didn’t think anyone could climb up out of the bottom of Frijoles.”

      It ain’t possible for most of humanity. There is a way to get around the falls, to the west, if a person completely leaves the canyon; there is an upper “bench” and a lower “bench,” and it would be a difficult climb. If Randy had a good map with him I would think you are right: he tried to go due north, to highway 4 or 2.

      There are “dry water falls” in Chaquehui Canyon, where water has polished the sandstone too smooth to climb up or around; perhaps Randy is in there; Leo could have returned to the raft from there. I doubt they went that far up river, though.

    • Please include the use of SAR dogs on the 16 and 17, and that tracks around the car were looked for on the 15 by SAR. People ask about the sea lot and they are facts.

  47. The one definite assumption with which everyone agrees is that “under NO circumstances would Randy be deliberately separated from Leo” … if Randy could help it. But they were separated. For whatever reason, they were split. Why? Was it Randy’s decision?

    Randy could have easily put Leo in the back pack, & carried him wherever they needed to go. But did he? NO! The whole disappearance issue seems deliberate to me.

    If Randy left Leo there alone, it could only have been out of necessity because of an accident … or on purpose. Perhaps Randy assumed that Leo would soon be rescued because surely they would be reported missing in a day or two. Problem is … no one reported their disappearance for 10-11 days.

    Was there any $$$ in the wallet? Were his driver’s license & other ID found there? Who is the Linda Bilyeu that has a website … the ex-wife?

    • Becky, read Linda’s web page and you’ll get up to speed on the search for Randy. Personally I find it HIGHLY unlikely Randy would leave Leo and stage this whole thing. He does not seem like the kind of person who would set up that kind of scenario and worry his family like that. And if you’ve ever had as close a relationship with a pet as it appears Randy had with Leo, you would also probably come to the conclusion that something drastic occurred.


    • Randy and Leo’s separation could be for any number of reasons. If you have to climb out of a canyon the dog stays beyond. I would never think to put a dog Leo
      s size in a backpack and try and climb anywhere dangerous as it would be put the dog in extreme danger and me as well.
      All the searchers the last week have said the terrain is difficult and you need gloves and both hands to make it up the scree and rocks. So you can’t carry Leo and the backpack can’t work for a dog that big (He’s not a rag doll and can’t be stuffed into a backpack).
      So you split and promise to come back for him. It happens all the time in rescues where a loved one leaves to get help and as sad as that seems, it must be done for both to survive.

      • Possibilities regarding Leo.

        1. If he indeed left Leo, that means he crossed the river so Leo wouldn’t follow and he exited west. To me it looks like the raft was deliberately placed in a position to not blow away and allows for a recessed area that a small dog could crawl under for shelter. He left the raft for Leo’s protection. Otherwise, why didn’t he deflate the raft and take it with him to for warmth.

  48. Has there been a general consensus on how Leo’s ‘one’ paw might have become injured?

    Any information about how Leo’s coming along…. emotionally/physically?

  49. I hope Randy is found soon.
    I’ve not participated, but have read everything available, here and other sources. Please consider this theory.
    Randy wore waders because he planned to wade down river to treasure
    location. Maybe a fairly short distance. Wade while pulling/ guiding raft with Leo in raft.
    The raft was for Leo and after successful find, the treasure chest.
    The return trip, Randy would wade, guiding, pulling raft with Leo in it. Possibly other small items in raft.
    I don’t know strength/durability of raft. Thought it was fairly light.
    Would it have successfully supported Randy?
    Possibly at very start of journey, upon entering Rio, raft got away from Randy.
    Leo, in raft, was floating away downstream, quickly.
    Imagine the panic. What would Randy have done? Chased after.
    Raft, with only Leo’s small weight, quickly gets out of sight, floats 9 miles, is blown off river or beaches and later blown a distance to where found.
    Where would Randy possibly be in this scenario?
    Just trying to put my thoughts out there.
    If Leo is a Jack Russell, they can track scent, swim. If he and Randy were separated, they would find each other if possible.
    This idea puts distance and water between them. Not a good combination.

  50. Perhaps giving them a look and shaking his head side-to-side? Maybe someone could tell them the treasure is in your back yard, exactly where you wish to put a new in-ground swimming pool or pond? Ha!

  51. I have a thought about Randy’s solution, I wonder if Randy thought North of Santa Fe was really north of Santa Fe county…

  52. Could a dog injure its paw by standing in snow for a long time,watching? This has been on my mind a few days now. I “assume”Leo was standing watching the river in the direction where Randy went in,thus his injured paw.
    The way all the greenery was patted down by the raft makes me think that they were both there for a few days. Maybe Randy was hurt at the time and was hoping to flag someone down but that day never came soon enough. So he decided to go out looking for help via the river,using the broken end for the paddle as a brace for his leg… 🙁

    • A dog can certainly injure his front paw by digging. How do his front paws compare to his rear paws? If he was digging, I suspect Randy to have attempted to climb up or down a steep slope full of scree or sand. These slopes are typically near their angle of repose, and if someone disturbs them in the slightest they crush down and engulf the victim like an avalanche. Looking at Google earth, there are likely places all along the mesa edges, like diabalo canyon. Maybe Leo was trying to dig Randy out? All speculation, but if it helps give ideas where to look, and what to look for, such as recent slide areas (no footprints), then it is worth throwing it out there.

  53. Has a background check been done on the security guard that was on location at Buckman Rd on January 5th, 2016? Has the security guard been ruled out as a person of interest?

        • Well,
          Your thinking could make life uncomfortable for allot of innocent people.
          I don’t like that type of thinking.
          You can’t just start shaking everyone down who was within ear shot of him.
          Just my 3 cents.

          • Jake, I not shaking everyone down. Please choose your words selectively. Innocent people have nothing to be concerned about.

          • I agree with Jake. How far do we go with suggestions, in the attempt to help find a missing person? This is not a ‘parking lot attendant’ with a black T shirt and ironed on letters that spell out security… I would bet their hiring required a back ground check to start.

            If were going to go down every avenue of even the slimiest possibilities, What’s next, background check of employees at the store as well, Maybe the hotel employees, Check in to alien abductions, Maybe any records of bigfoot sightings in the area? Hey don’t laugh… Millions have reported just that, and if they say it happened, it must be probable, right?

            How much resources/money/time is needs to be utilized ‘away’ from an actual investigation and search for a missing person. There is not a shred of evidence to support any wrong doings.

            There will come a time when even the volunteers will have to call it quits… 23 days thus far and they still are going hard and strong. Yet when the day does come they can’t do no more, go home to families and responsibilities… will some say the quit to early?

            I applaud all those searching and all those doing what they can from home etc. to assist. I hope we don’t lose our heads in order to cover every improbable scenario, and stay concentrate on the more likely.

          • Seeker,
            I rarely agree with everything you say in a comment, but have to say I agree with EVERYTHING you have said in this comment.
            Thank you for the uncommon sense perspective.

      • Good God people, I was just trying to think out of the box. Don’t expand it more than it’s needed. Really, alien abductions, bigfoot, etc.?? Holy cow, what an imagination! Reality is that I agree with Dal’s comment on a previous post. I’m hopeful that Randy is found. I’m not sure I can ever get back to The Chase. As of now, any solve I had is no longer fresh and is now stale. The reality of losing someone is difficult and has taken a toll on me and probably others in the chase. I’m supportive of Forrest and the searchers. The steps I’ve taken to become more acclimated to the outdoors has come to an halt due to safety. I’ll leave this here.

    • https://flic.kr/p/DBawsK
      Here’s a related question: Can anyone confirm whether the video from these cameras has been requested or viewed?

      These cameras point at the river and are mere yards downstream from Randy’s car. The car is at the end of Old Buckman Road at what is known locally as the Buckman put-in. It’s an area frequented by birders, even in the winter.

      I think the fenced building is part of Santa Fe’s water diversion and treatment system. Water is precious in Santa Fe and they take their security fairly seriously; hence the security guard and cameras.

      • please try to look at this more closely, I spotted it on https://vimeo.com/153128514 right about 06:29 – 06:43 I had to change the angle but if you zoom in below shadow or cave looking area on cliff it looks like someone either standing or laying on the snow… middle right side of video on patch of snow the first thing I spotted looks like legs v black shape ( black pants) and then once zoomed the rest of what may be someone? Please zoom and look carefully.

        • yeah I saw it… and it does look somewhat like a human figure laying sprawled out on the top of a rock (most especially from the photo crop you took of it. In the video, you can’t tell size relation to the terrain to get an idea of how big that actual shape is. It appears possibly that it could be the black waders that melted the snow, but it’s weird that the “feet” didn’t melt any snow (because they seem invisible). It’s worth a closer look, I agree.

          • I also agree. I think it definitely deserves a closer look. Did anyone send this to Dal or Forrest?

  54. If Randy checked out of the motel on the 3rd, where did he stay after that? He purchased items on the 4th. What time?, there must be a receipt. (Any surveillance)? How long did it take him after that, to get to his destination? Old Buckman Road or 9 miles down the Rio. Many messages sent on the 4th? To whom? Why are we not seeing everything that happened that day, texts, pics., calls, etc…. I mean everything. Not just selective texts, not dated, time and whereabouts. Why not share all this info. I thought I read that he already tested the waters…and everything was fine. Did he spend the night on the Rio, on the 4th? Is that where and when he tested the waters? The water looks shallow with many rocks and boulders. A some-what broken oar? A tear perhaps to the raft. He needs his keys. Are they in his back pack in the river or did he have a hidey spot on the car?

  55. anyone – I need help locating two pieces of info. The first is the comment verbatim that Randy posted about sending FF his solve in via snail-mail. I simply am unable to find it. The second is where it was stated by someone, maybe FF or a searcher, that Randy’s raft doesn’t have oarlocks. I remember that item, but does anyone else? I didn’t dream it up, did I?

  56. @Dal – Thanks for both. Here’s my point about Randy’s raft. As per your response, FF stated that the raft had NO oarlocks. Since I know absolutely nothing about rafts & oars, dumb as usual, I did some research. From the photo of the raft box on Randy’s car, I took the following info: Sevylor Super Caravelle 3 Person Boat (pump & oars included). I found this picture & description at the company’s website. http://www.sevylor.com/Super-Caravelle-3-Person-Boat-P2026C40.aspx

    However, the supposedly included pump & oars were NOT pictured … nor written up in the product features. However one detail caught my attention. It stated: Delrin® swivel oarlocks let you row naturally and easily. What? Oarlocks? I remembered FF said the raft had none. So what’s the deal?

    I phoned the company, Dal … 1-800-835-3278, & spoke with a technical representative. I asked several questions about the Super Caravelle 3 Person Boat. A manual foot pump (black or yellow) & two oars (black or stainless steel, I think) with stainless steel connectors are included with the raft. The telescoping poles will NOT break, nor will the paddles.

    Then I asked about the bottom material & its durability. The bottom of the raft is guaranteed puncture resistant. The material is sturdy, heavy-duty PVC like plastic plumbing tubing. Therefore it will NOT tear. I asked the agent to check out any complaints or issues with that raft, specifically any reported issues of tearing or faulty workmanship. According to him, there have been none.

    I am now questioning whether or not the raft that was found with Leo is the same raft that Randy purchased. Again, FF said that raft has no oarlocks, yet the one that Randy purchased does. Also there is the visible tear which the raft that Randy bought is guaranteed against.

    I hope I made sense with all this. I’m a little out of my league with outdoor activities … such as rafting. Just a dumb WV-ian’s input toward solving Randy’s disappearance. What does everyone think? Dal, how about you?

    • You certainly came up with some interesting problems. I can only think of a couple possible explanations.
      1. They don’t make a raft I cannot puncture
      2. Nor a paddle nor oar I cannot break

      That boat was made for floating around in a lake…family fun..
      Randy took it down a challenging river and probably through at least one serious rapids. I cannot imagine it was intended to withstand the kind of treatment it could have been subjected to at Ancho Rapid. See a video of the rapid here:

      Albeit that video was shot in March and the river might be higher in March than it is in January. But kayakers who run that river say Ancho is rated Type III and so is The Gate a few miles above it…winter or spring…that means you better have experience, a good boat and it could be a very hairy ride.

      I also note that there is no life vest with the boat and apparently no evidence that he bought one when he bought the boat.

      I see the company told you the raft is durable and the bottom is puncture resistant…
      I hope Randy can get his money back.

      Maybe Forrest didn’t see the oarlocks..
      The oarlocks on those little boats look more like plastic handles than an oarlock…

      But I am not trying to blow holes in your research Becky…
      Maybe it’s not Randy’s boat or maybe something else happened to it and to Randy..

      But in my humble opinion that boat could certainly have gotten torn up like that on his ride down the river…it was not made to be used on that kind of water.

      • Well said Dal, my thoughts exactly. That raft was more of a pool toy. Perhaps it did have oar locks, pin style, that broke or slipped out off their sockets. Randy had little or no control of the raft with one paddle over the side. The PVC material is similar material as used for a yellow rain coat, not plastic pipe. His butt would sink down in the raft and drag on the shallow rocky river bottom, creating a tear.

    • If you do an internet search for this ‘boat’ and look for reviews, that will tell you a lot. Fine for a pool, but not much more.

  57. @dal – Thanks for the explanation. Darn it! I was proud of myself. I’ll keep trying. Something’s got to give eventually. Darn that FF too. Why doesn’t that man know an oarlock from a handle? You need to teach him a little something about outdoor life. He has gotten “moldy”.

    Off topic: Are you planning to attend Fennboree 2016?

  58. Having turned this over in my mind as the facts have been presented and unfolded, one wants to make suppositions about “what most likely happened” because we don’t know what happened.

    1. Because Randy bought a raft, we presume he used it to go down the Rio where a raft was found. We strongly suspect it is the raft he bought, because other hard evidence points to this being the area of his solve.

    2. If he and Leo were on the sandbar, we don’t know how long they stayed there.

    3. If after their supplies had run out Randy struck out from that spot, which way did he go?

    4. Lastly, what if Randy wasn’t lost or waiting for folks to find him. What if he had a mishap moving towards his solve? In other words, what if he had made no efforts to “get out” because he ran into trouble “going in”? If he never reached his goal for that day trip, then it might be that he will be found on the way to his hidey spot.

  59. More investigative work to be done, if it hasn’t been done already.

    1. Did Randy own a smart phone?
    2. If he did, did he have a satellite app for locating things on Earth?
    3. If both the above are true, has anyone checked to see if his cell phone pinged a satellite during the time he has been missing?

    It has been stated elsewhere that a cell phone app such as this does work, even if there is no cell tower coverage because of being in the valley.

    • I’ve been wondering this too–and have asked the question numerous times to no avail. It was said on his exwife website that he had a gps device too. I don’t understand the technology well but from what I read online, the gps on the phone and possible the gps gadget can be tracked when no cell coverage is available as you stated. There are even some online tracker companies that use satellites coverage but we need his phone number. I would guess that this avenue has been pursued but as we all know from experience, assumptions can be misleading. I’d hate to find out that this search option could have been used but wasn’t.

      • There may be a misconception here about how cell phones and GPS devices work.

        The radio chips in all modern phones include GPS receivers that enable the phones to use the US GPS and, in some cases, the Russian GLONASS constellations to determine position. But these are just receivers – no GPS or other satellite positioning device transmits to, or pings, the GPS satellite network, and so there is no way to track a GPS device with that system.

        Cell phone radios have only three mechanisms for two-way communication – the regular cellular network, wifi, and Bluetooth.

        There may be some confusion relating to satellite communicators or personal beacons such as SPOT or InReach. These contain GPS receivers for position location, but also satellite communication radios that can transmit (and receive, in the case of InReach) to the Globalstar or Iridium satellites. These are the satellite phone networks; cell phones do not have the capability to communicate with those satellites.

        • Very good explanation.

          Also, it is important to mention, in order to track anything, you need a warrant. No company will give you this information freely or easily. They have no way of knowing if Randy is missing, or someone is trying to track him for other reasons.

          Only law enforcement can request and be granted a warrant in this instance. We are not law enforcement, therefore, this information and option is not available to us.

          • Cell phone forensic data for his phone were requested and provided, but did not yield any useful information beyond confirming that his last phone activity was consistent with the presumed timeline of his trip. No cell phone / cell tower traffic after the start of his expedition on the 5th – not surprising given the almost total lack of cell coverage in White Rock Canyon.

          • Sacha, does anyone in the area have a cadaver dog? I know that is not what anyone wants to hear, but dogs trained in that field might be of help in the search.

          • The dogs SAR used are cadaver dogs. I did look into local tracking dogs, but could only find ones trained to track wounded animals from hunting. It didn’t seem like they are trained for tracking humans.

            I still want to look into this more, but don’t have the funds to pay someone, and they would probably have to come from out of state.

          • The dog used to search the area around the raft, along the bank, and the rim above that location was cadaver certified.

        • I understand what you are saying however, however, it is my understanding that the trackers used in smart phones (apple and android) use both satellite and cell tower technology. If Randy has this app activated on his phone, then it could be used to locate the phone. A warrant may or may not be needed IF the government was the entity conducting the search but the warrant requirement DOES NOT apply to private citizens. I would point out that law enforcement has been tracking phones for years without warrants.

          In any event, the warrant requirement applies to Governmental action only. Private citizens can not obtain nor are they EVER required to get a warrant. The constitutional prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizure (on which the warrant requirement is rooted) applies to Governmental action only. Rules as to whether a private citizen can access someone else’s device is governed by criminal and civil statutes and the entities who possess the info. If my husband was missing, I would gladly do what I could to locate him even if it meant going into his cell phone account with Microsoft or apple to use the tracker app. If he eventually was found and complained, I guess it is in the realm of possibility that he might be able to sue me, but frankly that would be my last consideration. Simply stated, I think It would be worth the risk.

          • The location services in those phones do use GPS and cell tower (and wifi hotspot data when available) to obtain position, but the point is that they can only communicate their position to the outside world via the cellular network (in the absence of wifi or Bluetooth connectivity), and his phone has not registered on the cellular network since he set out on his river trip. Those data, if they exist, are trapped on his phone.

            If we recover his phone then it may be possible, depending on how he has it set up, to reconstruct where it has been. But without the phone there is no way to access those data.

        • PM, while I won’t even try to pretend to know everything about cell phone communications and what is capable and what is not, I still am uncertain if my question was answered by your explanations. You mentioned that htere was only three types of two way communication – “regular, WiFi and Bluetooth”. I beleive this to be false, as you have already stated that all new phone chipsets are able to be tracked by satellite. It is my understanding of how all wireless communication works is that there has to be a “handshake” to verify the communication and that all companies are required to record these handshakes for a while for just such a case like this. If a phone communicates in any way with a satellite, that hand shake is recorded. What I don’t know, is what information is also recorded. Do the satellite companies keep track of the coordinates when the handshake is complete? One would hope so. That’s what I am after, the handshake log, as it were. What I also don’t know, which is why I posed the questions, was whether anyone else has thought of this, and if so, have they acted on it?

          • I’m sorry, but your understanding is incorrect. Cell phones can receive (listen) to GPS satellites and thus determine their position. They cannot, in any situation, transmit (talk) to any satellites, either GPS or satellite phone, and so there is no way for the satellite networks to know where the phone is. This is one-way communication.

            So, the process of a phone determining its position by listening to GPS satellite transmissions is not the same as the satellite network tracking the phone (i.e. knowing the location of the phone). None of the satellite networks is able to locate or track cell phones under any circumstances. I cannot state it any clearer than that.

          • And just to add one more clarification – there is no “handshake” between a GPS receiver or a cell phone and any of the satellite networks.

            A handshake occurs only in two-way communication, such as a cell phone talking to a cell tower, or a satellite phone or satellite communications device talking to the satellite phone constellation.

            And no GPS device ever handshakes with a GPS satellite – that is always one-way traffic – a GPS device simply listens to the code stream from the satellites.

          • PM,
            Your comments are very informative.
            I was wondering what the laws would be if the treasure was discovered in a national park or park by an employee or non-employee?

          • PM – that’s a perfect answer. So, now I understand that the satellite simply transmits and the cell phone just receives, much like your car radio. This is understandable to me.

            Dang, so much for “useful” modern technology. ugh. But I suppose, noone really wants Big Brother watching your evey move from outer space, eh?

          • As has been mentioned before, if you want to be tracked then you can be – just get a satellite communicator such as a SPOT or InReach. Those contain GPS receivers to acquire position information and short data burst radios to transmit it through one of the satellite phone networks, Globalstar in the case of SPOT, and Iridium in the case of InReach.

            The difference between them is just in extent of coverage (Globalstar misses the polar regions while Iridium is full global coverage), and in that the IrReach units permit two-way SMS and email traffic in addition to position tracking, while SPOT is one-way, transmit only. SPOT is cheaper as a result, as you might expect.

          • As for Big Brother watching you from outer space, he doesn’t need to – he can follow you on the cellular network provided that you are in a coverage area with your phone switched on. Needs a warrant or other formal request such as used by SAR, of course.

          • Jake,
            Technically, if a resource is on state or federal land – it is the property of the state or the Fed. Possession is 9/10ths of this law. If they know a resource has been removed and can provoke it, they can use you for removing it.

          • VOR,
            Say if you found the treasure on other than private property. Why would you have to disclose where you found it? Is there a law that specifies that you have to disclose where you found it? They already know it wasn’t stolen.

          • Sorry, spell check changed some things…. Technically, if a resource is on state or federal land – it is the property of the state or the Fed. Possession is 9/10ths of this law. If they know a resource has been removed and can prove it, they can sue you for removing it.

  60. An observation from the facts list at top of page. If this has been discussed already apologies.
    Hiking boots are left in car. Waders are missing.
    NM search and rescue noted a set of ‘boot’ prints and dog prints and are assumed to be Randys and Leos.

    Do waders leave boot prints?

    Did NM S&R see wader prints and say boots? Or were they boot prints 100%?
    Did Randy have a second pair of boots which he took with him?

    Without clarity, the assumption the prints are Randys is weakened or if no second pair of boots and waders don’t leave ‘boot’ prints = the prints are not Randys.

    • Clarification – I think that it would be overstating it to say that the prints in Lower Frijoles Canyon were assumed to be Randy’s and Leo’s.

      The context of the observation of those prints is that Lower Frijoles Canyon is very infrequently visited at this time of year, since the Falls trail is impassable and the other public options for getting there (other than by water) are long and difficult. So the presence of prints of a hiker and small dog are unusual, but consistent with the timeline and consistent with Randy’s obvious interest in that area.

      • PM-
        I believe the police report makes that assumption. Probably based on age of the print, size of the print and perhaps matching prints around the raft.

        • Not sure which police report you are referring to, but I’m surprised if there is a police report with that level of detail. The NMSAR report does not make the assumption that the tracks have been definitively identified – just that they may belong to the subject.

  61. Is there any “fact” that supports conclusion that Randy was in the raft?
    Can “fact” support conclusion that Leo was in raft? I think yes.

    • There is no direct evidence that Randy was in the raft, either at all, or at the location where it was found. However, circumstantially, the fact that the raft was neatly stashed under a rock and bushes, with oars and pump, 115 ft from the river bank, strongly indicates that someone, not Leo, placed it there. That Leo remained there suggests that it was most likely Randy.

      • What you say makes sense if raft was truly “placed” at location.
        Could raft have been blown from river, ending up flipped against rocks?
        I don’t know – distance, weather, wind.
        Does raft have enough weight to make blowing & tumbling impossible?
        Just trying to think outside the box.

  62. I have an older model Sevylor Caravelle 3 person raft. The oar locks are just like handle loops through which the oar poles slide. It is easy for the oars to slide up or down through the loops as you are rowing. As you sit in this raft you are quite low, making it difficult to row effectively, especially if the floor air compartments are not fully inflated. It becomes very tiring to row and steer this raft, especially facing forward, which you would have to do going down a curving shallow stream.

    I’ve punctured the bottom and sides of my raft several times with small holes but I’ve never had a tear in it. I’ve found that most of the punctures have come when I’ve beached the raft or drug it to my car after beaching it.

    It’s easy to drag your rear in shallow water with this raft and it would be entirely possible to get a tear in the bottom or side air compartments. The current could have taken him into a rocky or brushy shoreline and caused the tear.

    I’ve broken both oars and had to replace them. They usually break at the threaded connections. Trying to row or steer the raft over a shallow, rocky bottom could cause you to break an oar. Or trying to use your oar to push off from rocks you were hung up on.

    They rate these rafts as 3 person but even two persons is tight. Maybe they figure 3 kids.

  63. I’ve had my raft blown by the wind a couple of times. I’ve learned to put rocks or something heavy in it to keep it from blowing away. There always seems to be strong canyon winds going up or down a river. If a wind gust caught Randy’s raft while it had oars and the pump in it, the oars and pump would most likely have been scattered along the sandbar. When blown by the wind my raft has rolled over several times. It catches it underneath and flips it up.

    I think Randy must have beached the raft and placed it where it was found, with the oars and pump next to it.

  64. New here, been watching from a distance from last June. Posted just a couple of thoughts.

    Not sure maybe not facts but thoughts. Hope this may help someone who is closer.

    Did Randy have eye / medical problems, one photo with a black patch over left eye?

    I would guess Randy was in the raft for some part of the trip down stream. There is a enlarge photo on this sight that show the tear in the bottom of the raft, it also show considerable wear on one end where Randy may have been seated?

    The over all wear on the bottom of the raft seem to be considerable for one 9 1/2 mile trip? I think he was in it for part of the trip, maybe all?

    It was a $80.00 raft maybe better suited for a lake or beach area.
    Size approx. 7′ 6″ x 3′ 0″ with a 600# load capacity.
    There should have been oar locks, or what ever you would call them.
    There was not any seating area, just the floor as far as I can tell.

    It would be nice to know how heavy the raft was empty?????

    I assume fairly light weight say under 40#??? If so, with the size of 7′ x 3′ it would make a great sail in any wind. Add a little icy snow cover to the area and mother nature could have easily beached the raft where it end up.

    It just does not look like the way I would store / make a shelter with the raft. The oats and pumps be under the raft for their protection or on top to help keep the raft in place / held down. It would not be jammed into / on top of a bunch of sage brush.

    Someone posted water flow information on this site that shows a spike around the 5th or 6th. This spike could have completely flushed everything from the rift to the lake area.

    Does anyone know what the ground cover was around the 5th or 6th?
    Was it wet / ice – snow covered / dry conditions?

    When Leo was found did he still have his dog tags attached to his collar? I cannot tell by the photo. May make a difference, maybe not?

    Any idea how old Leo is?
    Old dogs react different then the young ones will.

    Hope this sparks some extra thoughts.

    • Thanks for your comments on raft, river and weather conditions.

      Linda B. (Randy’s ex wife), on another site, said Leo is 8 or 9 years old.

      I continue to believe raft with Leo travelled downstream without Randy.
      Seems to me, only “proof” of Randy anywhere is footprints along with dog prints – prints that may not be his.
      I did see photos of prints along with a measuring tape.
      I will look for that.
      I recollect thinking the paw prints looked a little larger than what Leo
      could make, but that is hard to evaluate.

  65. @PM: Thanks for the info on tracker technology. Your input is appreciated .It always seems to be a learning experience here in the Dal Blog! Do you know if there is a map of the areas that have been searched as of today by the various groups? That would be helpful info to post on this page. I assume you are involved with SAR–is that correct? I tried to see any of your other posts but its too difficult to search your name because all of the posts during the pm (time) will crop up on a search for your name–and there are ALOT of post on this blog. Thanks again for taking the time to explain the satellite/cell info.

          • Jake or anyone else with some better searching skills than myself:
            Had an idea about the E on Randy’s map. A few weeks ago someone blogged about Forrest bells and the frogs on them only having 3 toes. There were a few comments back and forth between a couple of people and one of the things mentioned was that the frogs feet appeared to look like E’s. I cannot find the conversation that took place to save my life. Thinking the time line was perhaps between Randy’s December and January trips, maybe it made him think of something, and he just had to go back and see even with it being winter still.

            Like I said it is probably a long shot and nothing.

            Fred Y.

          • Fred,
            the “E” on his map could mean a number of things to us but Randy is the only one that knows. We are trying to get into his mind & figure it out. It could be that “E” follows A-B-C-D where this map could be the fifth revision, I can’t say that for sure & the whole area on his map has been searched thoroughly.
            I do know one thing, if the person missing was the president of United States or someone in the government or someone of great stature, they would comb every inch of every mile everywhere within a 1,000 mile radius from where that person was missing.
            But, it was just Randy, a regular Joe just searching for a treasure.
            Just goes to show you that most of us are expendable according to the higher ups.
            They don’t care about us.
            They only care about themselves in the long run.
            Have fun voting this year!

        • Unfortunately there is a tag in the html between the screen name and “on”, which seems to confuse the search function, at least in some browsers.

          • PM,
            Your comments are very informative.
            I was wondering what the laws would be if the treasure was discovered in a national park or park by an employee or non-employee?

            Just want to know if we should be looking in such areas?
            If you do not know, but maybe have a link to somewhere that would help or maybe too many variables involved?

          • I really don’t know the answer to that question, or even whether all public lands are treated equally. I suspect that you would be better off asking the person who hid it – I would assume that he must have done some basic research on the subject before going ahead with his game.

            Your text search method does work fine in Firefox, but fails in Safari. And I notice that the forum software actually stripped out the tag that I was referring to – I included it in my previous post – it is a closing span tag.

    • I don’t think that there is currently a map that shows the compiled search areas. The mapping used in SAR would not be particularly useful or understandable and would not include the subsequent search efforts anyway.

      I could put together a summary compilation as a KML overlay for Google Earth showing the areas covered by SAR, but it would need someone to make a similar compilation showing the recent volunteer searches.

  66. @anyone – When you purchase a wet suit, how is it packaged? Is it hanging on a rack with others, is it in a box (as was the raft), or is it packaged in a plastic bag, or some other containment? I assume they are available in various sizes & colors & weights? Is that correct?

  67. These may be crazy questions, but I’d like to introduce them. Do we know what type of sandwich was left half eaten and if there were other signs of food to be used later as a meal inside of Randy’s car?

  68. Jake re your question about finding the treasure in a National Forest. According to Forest Service, you need a special use permit to search for a “Treasure Trove”…Lots of red tape. IF you got the permit, which requires that you tell the Forest Service where EXACTLY you want to search (Doubt that you would want to divulge this info) – Then if you find the treasure, you are supposed to turn it over to the Forest Service, they will place the chest in escrow until Forrest claims it (as the rightful owner) then he would have to “gift” it to you…then the IRS gets involved. Complicated – “Just take the chest and go in peace” MUM’s the word until you talk to Forrest and a BUNCH of lawyers.

  69. I’ve tried searching many threads for the info on prints but way too many posts to try to find that info. Too bad that one photo of the boot prints and dog prints are even posted as many of us who see the photos that are posted here think that they all pertain to Randy and Leo. At the very least it would be good to label the image as not belonging to Randy. On this page it says
    NM Search and Rescue reported a set of boot prints and dog prints were found going into Rito de los Frijoles and out again. These are assumed to be Randy’s and Leo’s.” Is this true? Are there pictures of those prints available?

    • I have requested Dal post what SAR knows and has made public, but for some reason he has not yet posted all the SAR information that has been posted. I have never seen pretty pictures of these prints. I believe park rangers reported them. But I might be wrong.

  70. I think that the dog’s paw was raw is significant here. While this could have happened as are result of the dog stepping on something irritating and then chewing on it, considering the terrain and the absence of his owner, I think it’s more likely an indication that Randy climbed up some place or was buried under some place the dog couldn’t get to. I would take the dog back to the area, tell him to “Find daddy!” or “Find papa!” however Randy referred to himself to the dog, and see where the dog goes. I think that’s really the best bet at getting an idea of which way he headed.

    • Fact: Unless there was a witness we don’t know about, Leo was the last one to see Randy alive, wherever that may have been. Fact: Randy’s whereabouts are unknown at this time. Fact: He may be found today or he may never be found. Suggestion: Animals are highly intelligent, including Leo. Anna Breytenbach is an advanced wildlife tracker featured in a 52 min film available on YouTube called The Animal Communicator. This is the 13 min clip from that video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvwHHMEDdT0 in which she works with an enraged black leopard. Anna is in great demand to work with SCIENTISTS around the world and has a long successful history at zoos, wildlife centers, on safari. Scientists need her assistance. She calls upon skills our ancestors used before we got so involved with technology and lost touch with nature. Any of you who are open minded and love animals, watch what happens when the caged and enraged black leopard encounters Anna. The former policeman, overseer of the wildlife center, previously sent to hospital by this animal, breaks down and cries at what unfolds. If you watch the video, imagine what Anna could learn from Leo and share with us.

  71. “VOR, Say if you found the treasure on other than private property. Why would you have to disclose where you found it? Is there a law that specifies that you have to disclose where you found it? They already know it wasn’t stolen.”

    The issue has been extensively discussed, and I suppose it does not belong on this blog’s entry. I am not a lawyer:

    1) The treasure was private property that was abandoned by its owner;

    2) If the treasure is on privately owned land, it belongs to the owner of the land;

    3) If the treasure is found on federally owned land, such as national monuments and forests, it belongs to the federal government;

    4) If the treasure is found on a state park or other state-owned land, it belongs to the state;

    5) If the treasure is found on a county park or other county-owned land, it belongs to the county;

    6) If the treasure is found on a town or city park or other town- or city-owned land, it belongs to the person who found it.

    7) Any income via sale or use made from the chest and its contents will be taxable;

    8) It is in the interest of the finder (me) to return the chest and its contents to Mr. Fenn, upon which Mr. Fenn can then give it to that person (me);

    9) The finder (that’s me again) does not have to tell anyone the treasure has been found, and that includes the IRS; if income is gained from the chest, then the income must be reported to the IRS;

    10) The finer (er, me) will want to have the chest and its contents appraised for sale value, ASAP;

    11) I (er, I mean “the finder”) will want to lawyer-up after finding the treasure.

  72. Their was a small story in todays news paper here in Worland wy about randy being lost and part of forest poem. the paper is Northern Wyoming Daily News.

  73. @dal – I asked this yesterday. I will ask again.

    #1 When you purchase a wet suit, how is it packaged? Is it hanging on a rack with others, is it in a box (as was the raft), or is it packaged in a plastic bag, or some other containment?

    #2 I assume they are available in various sizes & colors & fabric weights? Is that correct?

    • Becky,
      Wet suits are usually displayed like shirts on a heavy duty hanger on a rack, so you can try them on. No box, no packaging, sometimes no tags.
      Yes various sizes, colors & thickness for whatever temp water you are going into.

    • Becky, I think it might depend on type of wetsuit. I acquired a wetsuit for surfing in Santa Cruz, CA about ten years ago and it came on a hanger. Those do come in different weights, sizes, and cuts. Not sure about wetsuit for river purposes though.

      • Threerocks/becky
        There was a link to a picture of Randy in a chest high neoprene waders with the logo on the front. The picture is not a “wet suit” of which you would go scuba diving etc.
        It is the type that fishermen use, but the neoprene is what the wet suits are made of, it helps insulate.

  74. @Randy Reust – Please post the small story in todays Northern Wyoming Daily News … about Randy being lost and part of Forrest’s poem. I’d like to read it, but I am unable to access the article myself.

  75. @pdenver, Jake, threerocks, & Dave – Thank you, guys. I was contemplating WHY Randy Bilyeu took a picture of the raft box only … NOT the wetsuit. Sadly I can only theorize.

    Speaking of theories, WHERE on this site am I allowed to post my not-so-popular one about what happened to Randy? It will be only my deductions ,,, yet based on the facts as I have read them here.

    Everyone should realize, by now (after all this time has passed), that Randy Bilyeu is definitely either dead or sitting back somewhere with his feet elevated … watching this whole drama unfold. It would be extremely helpful to know if he had any insurmountable personal problems (financial, family, spiritual, health, social … whatever).

    I read (red) somewhere that he was taking heart pills which I believe are NEVER to be prescribed without some form of anti-depressant. Perhaps, unknown to others, Randy was emotionally depressed to some extent. Perhaps he felt overwhelmed by certain issues of which we have no knowledge.

    According to reports, Randy’s so-called “good friend” phoned Linda Bilyeu (the ex-wife) about his missing. I would think he (the good friend) would have called the current girlfriend … not the ex-wife. So much does NOT add up. Doesn’t take a genius or a graduate from MIT to see the fallacies.

    So WHERE can I post my theory? I want y’alls opinions.

    • It is exactly this kind of hissing red conjecture that caused me to step away from this online community. All we know about Randy’s health is that he had a heart like a lion and lungs like a horse. I know that terrain, no one would tackle it if not fit to do so. None of us know anything about Randy’s relationships except that he was loved.
      I will never understand why some get built up by tearing others down. Never.

    • Becky, IMO it sounds like you have already posted you opinions. If Randy was depressed and wanted to do himself in why go out and buy a raft and new waders? From all the photos his dog Leo was his dearest friend, why would he leave him out alone to die instead of putting him down before he did himself in? Yes all things need to be considered but I think suicide is defiantly OUT of the question. As for being fit, we all do things that might be out of our physical abilities. He was living his dream of looking for the TC. The possibilities of which way he left from his raft and why is what needs to be answered at this point in time.

  76. @Babylon Slim – I can only assume it is to me that you are speaking. If you have some acute criticism, then please spit it out plainly … & refrain from this ridiculous unfactual diatribe.

    #1 How do you know about Randy’s heart health?

    #2 You may or may NOT know the terrain, but the statement that “no one would tackle it if not fit to do so” is nothing short of your opinion.

    #3 Randy was loved? By whom? You?

    Our focus is to find Randy Bilyeu … wherever he may be. Have YOU or anyone else found him by physically searching canyons, mntns, rivers, & all terrain near his place of disappearance? Duh?

    But carry-on, Babylon Slim, with your narrow-minded, head-in-the-sand approach. It’s quite evident to me that YOU have NOTHING of substance to offer for aid in the search for Randy. The truth, my dear Slim, as you have most assuredly inaccurately pointed out, is NOT intended for “tearing other people down”. Possibilities are useful … & could eventually make all the difference.

  77. As for timeline on 1/5/16, NM SAR reported he was in Santa Fe at 817 (result of cell phone ping). It takes about an hour to drive from Santa Fe to Buckman and the roads were icy that day as it had snowed about an inch at Buckman, more in Santa Fe. So he arrived at Buckman at 930 at the earliest. Then he may have had to inflate the raft, or perhaps had done that earlier.

    I was hiking at Buckman on 1/5/16 and I saw Randy’s car at 1245. It was backed into a parking spot near the raft launch. The only other car I saw at Buckman that morning was the CSI Security guard’s vehicle, and he was drivng back and fourth between a couple of the facilities out there, but not near where Randy was parked.

    It was not windy at Buckman on 1/5/16 when I was there from 1030-1330. It was about 30 degrees with 1″ fresh snow and it was overcast. The snow melted quickly and after about 1130 it was very muddy making walking difficult.

    • Thank you for the information, Julie. Greatly appreciate it. To the best of your knowledge, was there more snow forecasted for the daytime hours that day in that area?

    • Hi, Julie. I have a question with a scenario. When you heard this distress noise, were you in an open area (higher elevation), where perhaps the “distressed”, could have seen you? That perhaps, that is why you heard this noise, 3 times. It almost sounds as if someone? within eye sight, may have been trying to get your attention. Has anyone been back at that area, with binoculars, or just try and create what could be seen there? I apologize if someone has already asked you. Thanking you in advance for a reply.

  78. Did Randy Have a job if so where is it I will go there and talk to co workers
    Land lord neighbors his Friend what ever I can do. If I can get some help locating this info. Missing Info Has his Friend given any more detailed info as to Randy’s destination?

  79. Dal,

    Has anyone yet put together a composite map to post at the top of this page? A map that shows where the drones have flown, where pictures have been taken from, where BOTG seachers have been? Overlaid/also on this map would be Randy’s notes from his map, where the helicopters have flown, where the human and little doggy prints were found on the West bank in Frijoles Canyon area. Basically, one comprehensive map that future searchers could use to know what has been already covered so time and expertise are put to their best use?

    I am not a cartographer, nor have I been directly involved, so I am ill equiped to take on a task of this nature. Maybe there is someone out there that could.

  80. I hope everyone is well and those of have been supporting the search efforts have made it home safely. I have been reading all the blogs and comments here each and everyday. I have been communicating with people who are out searching and are planning to search.

    It is my own opinion after studying various searching articles and all the comments that the search for Randy must be temporarily suspended until we have a week of clear weather and then go out on a search in groups assigned to specific area. I feel this a smart and safe approach.

    What I have been doing with everyone’s information they have provided was to analyze there effort. They have done a very good job. The foot patrols are key in the search. The drone experts are vital as well. Yet the current conditions are hampering the search efforts especially the visual aspects of the drones. Now remember this just my opinion. I am not an expert.

    I have been in the military and one most import things to learn in my field was time and distant and I still use his method everyday since the late 70’s. Prediction could be the solve and the answer in many unknown scenarios. I am currently putting a model together to predict where Randy would be when it finally got dark if he was on foot. I have zoned areas where people haven’t even looked. Yet, looking and collecting evidence is vital to track for a possible direction. The tools needs beside your own safety gear are important when tracking. You can find many articles on how to track on the internet that may fit the way you would approach a situation.

    I would suggest cataloging any thing you find out in the field that may be of interest. Carry a notepad and pencil. When taking a picture of a footprint that is a possible size 12 and set a compass next to it with the compass pointing North. Also indicate the coordinates and time when you took that picture. An experienced tracker may not need these methods to track because he does have experience in the area and it surroundings.

    A search coordinator should not be in the field searching. They must maintain a central location for all the searches to report in and collect the data. The area has good cell phone coverage and reports should be made as scheduled by the coordinator. Groups should be established in this case a minimum of 3 people per group. Each group should have a group leader who has the most experience in the area and its surroundings.

    This is just my opinion and if you want to add to this comment please do in a professional manner. Thank you for your time. Peace

    • A search coordinator is all about an incident command system to coordinate all efforts (govt’, law enforcement, SAR, volunteers), to know what’s been covered, and have an plan of action.

      • I agree, it has to be a joint operation. All the searchers here and on other chase sites are giving there best to provide thoughts, ideas and support. This search group is vast with experiences from all walks of life. We may have the largest search team in history. Though resources are limited and the drone teams have become an intricate part in the search for Randy. I value everyone’s input and we shall not leave a stone upturned in order to bring closure. I have been communicating with key people and a plan of action is set to provide substantial evidence and notification to the proper channels. Thank you for your support.

  81. I think my comment posted above may not be seen, so here goes again:

    Fact: Unless there was a witness we don’t know about, Leo was the last one to see Randy alive, wherever that may have been. Fact: Randy’s whereabouts are unknown at this time. Fact: He may be found today or he may never be found. Suggestion: Animals are highly intelligent, including Leo. Anna Breytenbach is an advanced wildlife tracker featured in a 52 min film available on YouTube called The Animal Communicator. This is the 13 min clip from that video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvwHHMEDdT0 in which she works with an enraged black leopard. Anna is in great demand to work with SCIENTISTS around the world and has a long successful history at zoos, wildlife centers, on safari. Scientists need her assistance. She calls upon skills our ancestors used before we got so involved with technology and lost touch with nature. Any of you who are open minded and love animals, watch what happens when the caged and enraged black leopard encounters Anna. The former policeman, overseer of the wildlife center, previously sent to hospital by this animal, breaks down and cries at what unfolds. If you watch the video, imagine what Anna could learn from Leo and share with us. Any animal lovers out there???

    • I read your comment and watched the video. Wow! How powerful is that!
      I agree and have stated previously, they should use Leo. I understand that Linda has given her permission. I not sure why nothing has been done on this level.

      • Thanks for watching and responding, eaglesabound. I shared this 13 min video clip because her abilities and the leopard’s response may help people understand what is possible. If Linda has given permission I don’t know what we are waiting for. From the beginning I saw this as the short cut. Leo holds the clue. Search could go on forever, why drag it out? I’d like to talk to Linda by phone.

        • I think you can reach her through her Facebook post on Randy’s disappearance. Or maybe Dal, Stephanie, or Cynthia can help in that regard.

          • Thanks, maybe Dal will read this today. He’s got my number. Would love to talk to Linda Bilyeu.

          • I’m glad you pointed out that there would be NO need to take Leo to the river. Also I would like to mention that animals especially dogs need closure too. Some have even been taken to funerals to see that their master has died to get that closure. Just my opinion.

          • “I’m glad you pointed out that there would be NO need to take Leo to the river. Also I would like to mention that animals especially dogs need closure too. Some have even been taken to funerals to see that their master has died to get that closure. Just my opinion.”

            Absolutely no need to take Leo back to trauma location. If you watch The Animal Communicator full 52 min documentary on YouTube you’ll see many more experiences Anna has with animals. In one location a withdrawn one communicated to her that it had suddenly lost its owner, after a very close and long relationship. This creature did not understand, was grieving, and needed closure. Leo was an adorable little rascal before the incident. He could be of assistance and get help for himself at the same time.

            If any of you think the concept that someone could communicate with animals is weird, I’ve spent days with LANL scientists. I like to slip in my theories on energy and matter, and am glad when I get confirmation. Anna uses advanced physics in her work.

      • @eaglesabound, “I agree and have stated previously, they should use Leo. I understand that Linda has given her permission. I not sure why nothing has been done on this level.”

        It would not help; it is not dog behavior. Leo would just sit there waiting for everyone to do what ever they came to do.

          • @eaglesabound, “I respectfully disagree. I have seen first hand how animals react to death.”

            I agree with you that Leo could have helped people find Randy— but the problem is the time period involved. Asking Leo, now or a few days from now, to find Randy after getting Leo back to the raft will do no good: Leo will just sit there.

            Depending on how intelligent Randy was at the time he got in trouble, the probability is excellent that every place he is most likely to be has been searched several times—- except in the lake. I am often wrong (actually, I am almost always wrong, about everything; damn it), but I think Leo last saw Randy being dragged down river after Randy’s waders filled with water. If Randy’s intelligent was average or greater, he’s in the lake.

            Judging only by what I see in Randy’s preparations and planning, Randy was not stupid and he was not below average in intelligence. Randy appears to have been smart— he just made very bad decisions, which even geniuses often do.

            Given that Leo was found at the Raft, I consider the probability of Randy being in the lake to be greater than 0.9

            If Randy was not of average intelligence, he is somewhere near the junction of Rio Grande Gorge and Diablo Canyon. I don’t believe it, though.

          • I’m sorry Mr. D, but if you recall KD’S comments, there would be NO need to take Leo to the river. Please take a moment to watch the video KD attached to his comment, then maybe we can just agree to disagree.

    • I understand the need to use all avenues available… however, What we, the folks on the blogs don’t know is; who owns the dog? The ex-wife may have part ownership, but I don’t know if that is true. I doubt the children do as well, yet I don’t know. The people who have taken Leo in for care can not be dictated by another. The dog was extremely underweight for one… a health dog that size may weight approx 20 to 25 lbs, If this animal was left for 14 days it may have dropped 1/2 it’s weight. If you compare a 200lb man to that scenario, you would have a 100lb very weaken person, a dog is the same, and recovery takes time.

      Not to mention the animal other medical condition we don’t know about from the ordeal, including traumatized by the event[s]. Do we even know the dog’s age? These are thing we don’t know, yet the professional taking care of Leo do. Before any undertaking of sending Leo out to where they found him… I would hope someone would think about the dog’s well being first. Secondly, the legality of who makes that call comes into question as well… If Randy was sole owner, no one including Randy’s family can tell what is to be done in this regards…

      Any person who has worked with traumatized and injured animals will tell you [ including the person in the video, most likely ] this takes time as well.

      • You sure hit the nail on the head. We know nothing about Leo at this time. Certainly he is traumatized by whatever he saw, by being hungry and alone, by missing his owner. However, that is exactly the kind of situation that Anna Breytenbach assists with: traumatized animals at zoos and wildlife recovery centers round the world. If you watch the video you’ll see she does not have to wait a long time to work with an animal. And you will also see she would not have to walk Leo to the water.

  82. Some questions I keep waking up with in my head at 4am:
    1-Half eaten sandwich: Did Randy half eat this, or someone else with Randy’s keys? (check DNA on sandwich).
    2-Why couldn’t Randy carry Leo? Leo could be held in his arms, put in his day pack, or stuffed in the top of his waders.
    3-If a security patrol saw Randy’s parked car on Jan 5, why didn’t he report it “x” days later as still be there and suspicous? (assuming he patrols this area on a regular basis, maybe 1/day)
    4-What are the buildings near the end of Buckman Road, and who is there?
    5-Has anyone checked Craigslist for waders, blue backpack, etc. in NM?
    6-Has any cell phone carrier had a recent registration of Randy’s cell phone manufacturer’s serial number (not phone number)?
    7-Have any of the closest homes on the East side of the river been visited to ask about Randy? (maybe drop flyers in their mail boxes).
    8-Have any of the searchers seen any dangerous animals, ever? The ravine to the East from Randy’s raft would be the logical place for animals to traverse to get to the river for water.

  83. On second glance they are same brand, mens, but appear to be hip high only not the full style Randy was wearing. Was strange to hit Craigslist SF Waders Sale and see that brand pop up.

  84. I can’t find the photo of Randy’s car. Considering facts/items in his car …I remember also seeing a tennis racquet, which I thought odd to bring on a winter treasure hunt. Was he a tennis player? I believe there was also a sleeping bag in the front passenger seat. I didn’t get a good look at it, but my impression was that it was more of a slumber party style bag, not a serious three season bag. Makes me think he was car camping. Was there any other camping gear? Seems we only have him confirmed in a motel for jan. 2nd and checking out on the 3rd. Did he sleep in his car on the 3rd and 4th, and where? Did anyone see him car camping, or was he camping out somewhere, and did he have other equipment?

  85. A noble search has been undertaken. So many people care, like members of an extended family. Occasionally sarcasm or an attitude of superiority surface. Out of respect for Randy, his family, and each other it seems we should treat one another with respect. We come from varied walks of life. Each one has something unique to offer. We are all doing our best, in our own way, to assist in bringing the search to a conclusion.

  86. Broken handle missing – how important is this fact? Is it trivial – like did it break off while he was using it as designed in the river and he simply flung it as far as he could in anger when it broke? Or did he intentionally break it when he got to the spot where the raft was found to use as some kind of tool?

    I have to say, I agree with others that have posted that Randy would have used forethought and brought any needed tools, not having to “invent something along the way” because he forgot to bring the tool or tools he needed. If he needed a lever, why take the shorter one? Archimedes is ringing in my ears, “give me a lever long enough and I can move the world.” Same goes for a walking stick or shovel. I think it was cheap extruded aluminum that had porosity or granularity in the forging process, leading to an easy fracture. “You get what you pay for.”

    While it is a fact, in my opinion it is not one which weighs in heavily in the search and recovery of Randy.

  87. Dal, The link at the op of this page shows the raft was about 100 ft north of the actual spot in the pictures. My location is 35 44 53.7 – 106 15 30.47,
    Im’ not trying to be nick picking, just a little more accurate based on the picture of the raft from the west rim . My heartfelt thanks to all who are putting so much time and effort in trying to find Randy. May God Bless you all.

  88. Clean slate approach: Big assumption on where to start…
    OK, if I was close to 35°43’14.0″N 106°16’20.5″W and it hit the fan, in a bad way. Looking at a map, or GPS, I would head 90 degrees due East, up the 1,000 ft climb arroyo for 1.2 miles, to almost level ground, heading toward Cerro Micho. I would try (only 1/4 mile from the Arroyo) for the due North-South road, take the road South ( for about 1.5-2 miles) toward the many cross roads.
    This would be way easier than 9.2 miles back to his car.

    FYI- PM is 100% correct in his cell phone, & technology writings. I’ve been in the electronics hardware business for over 30 years.

  89. There one thing or fact that i havent seem asked about and i asked sacha yeasterday this question and was looking in to it. The question is if its not in the car where is his suite case he would have had with him that would have other cloths and stuff like his shaving kit in it? Also why check out of the hotel if you where going to raft down the river and either hike or get a ride back to his car? I would think he would keep his room so he had a place t come back to after what would be a long day. Also why leave a half eatten sandwitch in a car that could make it hot and no good when you came back. Could he have gotten a room at a diffrent hotel or was he going to sleep in his car because he had very little money with him..

    • Scott,
      As far as I can ascertain from reading these blogs, Randy stayed at the Motel 6 on Jan. 2nd. We do not know where Randy slept on Jan. 3rd or 4th. He became lost on the 5th. These treasure chest searches are expensive. It is my guess that he was sleeping in his car to keep costs down. IMO that is why there was a sleeping bag in the front seat of his car. That is what I and others have done on searches. Motels and restaurants etc. are not in the budgets for a lot of these searches. Yes he could have gone to another motel, but IMO unlikely.

      • Ya i understand he could have slept in his car i had to after one of the days i went out to search for him. My main question was here is the rest of his cloths that he could of and most likly drought with him he had to have more cloths than what he was wearing other than the jackets and shoes or boots in his car you cant he didnt bring any other pairs of pants or shirts along with a tooth brush or hair brush or other items along those lines unless they where in his back pack and even then why would take them on a hike it would just be weight to have to carry.

  90. Hi All, 1″ of snow on the ground here in Santa Fe so not ground searching today but catching up on blog chat re: Lost Randy. I only give fleeting thoughts to Randy’s motives or anything personal about Randy that does not pertain directly to the events on and around the river. My only desire it to put all my effort, as so many others are doing, into eliminating areas where his body may be found. I am certain that I am NOT certain of any of the many areas I have searched. Looking while descending topography is different from looking while ascending in the same area. I have found large recesses under large boulders and trees that where not visible when searched from a different viewpoint. Looking from the helicopter is different from a drone or from than sitting on a ledge and slowly scoping with binoculars. The trail that multiple searchers have taken to the raft down the east side is not readily visible from river level etc. etc. I have seen carrion birds, in twos, floating with the thermal currents on several occasions. I have spent considerable time watching and searching for possible targets the birds may have been interested in. All to no avail, the birds are not “talking”. Randy is there, either on land or in the water. Weather permitting, myself and others, will continue to search until we have a definitive answer. These searches are physically grueling and I am impressed by the many hundreds of hours that have been spent in total by all the searchers, including those who use their intellect and resources from home. It shows the best in each of the them to continue to look for one of our own who is missing.

    • Thanks for the weather info radcrad. Cynthia and I were just discussing the next potential search day, and it is still up in the air.

      It is snowing here in ABQ off and on today, and we are expecting another storm on Friday, so this week is not looking good for us. I am crossing my fingers that the weather man is wrong on this one, but we will keep everyone posted on our plans.

      • Word from home (8.25 miles N of SFe) is that 5″ have fallen so far today with no sun, tonight down to 8 deg/tomorrow 6 deg. Snow expected thru tomorrow, at least.

        Truly amazed by all y’all’s efforts.

    • Radcrad,

      Again, many thanx for all you and all that the other searchers have done in looking for Randy. I’m sure his freinds and family sure appreciate all the effort!
      On the home front, we got somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 inches of the white fluffy stuff in the last 12 hours and it drifted upwards of 15 inches or more in spots. Made cleaning out my driveway this morning a two hour ordeal so I could just get to work.
      When I look for lost rockets, I am often amazed at where I find them because of perspective. Just like the pictures posted earlier where there was a rabbit hiding in the bushes, if you’re not looking for something, you never see it. And sometimes you do see something when afield and your brain cannot unscramble what you see and until you get closer to it or see it from a different angle, it is unrecognisable. Perspective is very important when looking for something out in the wilds.
      Good luck to you and all the others that still plan to put boots on the ground in an effort to bring Randy home!

  91. I have done that trip in summer time and by far the worst Rapids are Ancho Rapids just north of where raft and Leo were found. I swamped my canoe there myself. With Randy in a raft with possibly waders on could have fallen overboard there; the dog and raft continued to location where they were found; I would search in river below Ancho Rapids

  92. GOOGLE Maps satellite images have been updated in 2016, around Randy’s raft area, high resolution.
    Maybe I’ve been looking at too many maps, but using regular Google Maps (not Google Earth), I now see very high resolution imagery around the Rio Grande river where they found Randy’s raft.
    And when zooming in around the river, I now see a 2016 Google image “watermark” on the images. When in 2016 where these updated, I don’t know. But image quality is very, very high for satellite images. Maybe all our use of Google in this area caused Google to update it, with high res images…

    • I just checked where Randy’s car should have been parked. It’s not there. So was this satellite imaging between Jan 1-3 ? Or has Randy’s car been moved, and it’s taken after that date?

      • From the timeline at the top of the page we can deduce that Randy’s car was parked in that spot from January 5th until January 15th, for sure, and if my memory serves, the warrant to impound and search his car didn’t occur until around the 18th or 19th, maybe later.

        So if the car is not in the pcitures, then we can deduce that they were taken before or after those dates.

    • I can’t be certain that you are seeing the same image data that I see, but while the Google Maps feed does show 2016, the images are clearly identical to the current Google Earth data, which is dated 6/25/14. Also, if those images were clearly taken in the summer (everything is green). If they had been taken any time in 2016 the view would be brown and snowy.

  93. If Randy did use the raft as a shelter, why was there not even one foot print found anywhere in the vicinity? If he did not use the shelter, how did the raft make its way so far from the river with the paddles and pump next to it? Could it have honestly been blown from the river to its found position with the pump and oars inside it and then merely hit the bank where it was found, tip over and spill it’s contents?

  94. UPDATE: Did you guys see that someone anonymously reported finding a backpack in Bandolier that my belong to Randy? They’re treating the area like a crime scene. The following was posted on the facebook search page today.

    “Update: Just received a call from the Chief Law Enforcement Ranger at Bandelier. The backpack HAS BEEN RETRIEVED via NPS. It’s under investigation. Do NOT hike to that area, which is a crime scene. The area is closed off and trespassers will be fined and possibly arrested.The area is also very dangerous.
    Today I received photos anonymously via email. The photos are of a backpack that is similar to Randy’s. The person who emailed me with the location of the backpack seemed confident the pack belonged to Randy. I’m a bit suspicious that this occurred shortly after I updated the missing person’s flyer with the color of the pack, but it’s a potential clue and we will treat it as such. It’s actually the first clue we have since the raft was found.
    The terrain is treacherous, dangerous and possibly fatal. I do NOT advise anyone to search the area or try to retrieve the pack. The proper authorities have been notified and are on the job. This could also be a hoax, which is common among missing person cases.”

    • Hello wendyjobradshaw101. Thank you for the information. I hope pieces of the puzzle will be put together in locating Randy. Sure hope it wasn’t a hoax for everyone involved. Greatly appreciate the update.

      • Thanks, pdenver. Very strange that someone reported it anonymously. Also that it’s still so bright blue and intact after so many months (if it is his). I hope they come up with answers soon that will bring their family peace and comfort.

        • You’re welcome, wendyjobradshaw101. It does seem strange and hope it isn’t a hoax. I do believe in the phrase, “What goes around, comes around.” Peace for the family would be wonderful.

          • Thanks for the update on Randy. Ever sents i lost my wife to cancer i know what its like to lose some one but i can imagine what there going through not knowing what has happened to or with Randy thats why i hope we (all of us that have been looking and helping find him any way that could ) could bring closer to all his family. I also think if it is someone just playing a hoax i think they would have to be sick to do that to someones family.

  95. Thank you for posting the update wendy. I joined the chase right after Randy was reported missing, and I didn’t realize there was a Facebook page dedicated to the search for Randy. Would you please post the name of the page. I hope this report isn’t a hoax, and if it is I agree with pdenver, what goes around comes around. Prayers for Randy’s family and friends.

  96. Let’s hope that it is not a hoax, and that it will lead to finding Randy’s body. My prayers go out to Randy’s family. May they find closure soon.



  97. All,

    Then the question must remain, between where the back pack was found and Leo, is what, the river? So what would cause Randy to disappear and leave both behind. It unfortunately can only be the river. I hope that he is found and all can have some closure.

    • Hello LitterateOne. The question I keep asking myself is whether or not the area was already searched when Randy went missing. I don’t know the area, so I really don’t know what could have been done already.

  98. I looked at the picture where the raft was found. If you look nearby you see Montoso Peak, maybe he thought it was “no place for the meek”? it rhymes. It looks to be a couple miles from the raft. Not far but too far to walk? Just a thought that may or may not help. So sad.

  99. “Bilyeu’s ex-wife, Linda, has been helping to organize volunteers who have spent countless hours hiking along the river and using everything from drones to telephoto lenses and dogs to scan the area for clues.”

    Excuse me? I don’t think so. Sacha & Cynthia deserve all the recognition and credit for mustering all those incredible and selfless volunteers.

    I wish nothing but closure and peace for Randy’s ex and family. And in no way do I mean any disrespect to them, but once again, the press doesn’t get it right.

        • Melanie, I’m aware that credit goes to many people including Forrest, LInda, Sacha, Cynthia, and too many for me to mention here. All of them never giving up on the search. I just shared this here after I shared it with Linda. I believe this story is referring to the police being back on the search for Randy.

  100. Has anyone considered that maybe that pack was planted after the fact? Something isn’t adding up here and is beginning to smell real fishee

      • Carissa i agree with you that its suppisious. I say this because that first day i went out to look for Randy me and sacha went to what sounds like the same area the pack was found that is if i got the area right. We where on the side where the road gos down to the ranger station near the top. Unless it was below where it becomes a real steep cliff that go to the bottom we should have seen it, or i would think we would have. Also when we where up there at the end of the canyon there where some divers that came out of the canyon that where part of the search. The only thing is that its a big area so if it was there the whole time we could have missed it but i dought it.. also that is if its the same area it sounds like they say it was found. I just hope you can get closuer soon. I cant imagen what your going through. God bless and im still praying for you all.

        • I agree. It’s weird that from the photo, the backpack looks in too good of condition to have been sitting out in the weather for so many months. Also the fact that the state-lead search teams already claimed to have searched the area where it was found. So many searchers have said they looked near that area.

  101. Carissa, I have been holding onto all hope that Randy finds his way back to you and your family. And I continue to. My prayers are with you.

  102. why would a person take a raft down to the river to float down, wearing waders,but left the wetsuit in the truck.if he fell in the water ,would the wet suit keep him warm.didn’t he have a girlfriend in broomfield,co where he lived.seems to me randy was in the truck eating his sandwich or was fixing to when someone came up,maybe randy opened the door or got out,they put the waders on,took the raft down to river with the dog.and floated down ,got out and placed the raft just so.and left the dog. as randy would never leave his dog.maybe they took randy off in the trunk of their car or truck,I’m sorry to say that,but things just don’t add up.

  103. Did Randy wear reading glasses? I don’t think this is important but I did find a pair out in that area recently while out looking for him. They were near a road in section 5 west of Montoso, a couple miles SE of Frijoles and had been there for a little while. 2.0 power espresso, square shaped?

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