An emergency room doctor and his 20-year-old daughter have been missing for nearly a week after their climb of Missouri Mountain in Colorado apparently went badly. Searchers are combing the mountainside looking for the doctor and his daughter, Makana von Gortler, who haven’t been heard from since she texted a friend on Friday night.
Dr. Michael von Gortler, 53, has a passion for hiking and tries to take his daughter with him when he can. Family members have said the pair often goes off-trail but that they are very experienced hikers who could handle it.
Chaffee County Undersheriff John Spezze spoke of the conditions on the mountain:
It’s steep. It’s rocky. There’s a lot of water coming out of the mountains right now. The weather has been warm, but we still have a lot of snowpack and a lot of high water, so yeah, they are up against a lot of tough terrain there.
The Colorado Army National Guard is doing an aerial search, and recently a search and rescue canine had picked up a scent on one of the trails. The timeline is putting pressure on the situation, but there are some good things going for the von Gortlers. Most importantly, he is an emergency room Doctor, so any injuries should be manageable. He also carries a well-stocked emergency kit on all of his hikes, so if nothing catastrophic happened, they may make it. The search and the prayers continue.