Missing Riverton men found safe and sound Sunday noon about 30 miles east of their planned route

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The Fremont County Sheriff’s Department reported Monday that a Search and Rescue Mission began Friday night around 11 :00 p.m. ended successfully on Sunday with the return of two Riverton men who went for a drive and failed to return. Captain Ryan Lee said the men failed to return from? a day trip in the South Pass area as they told family members they would. Lee said 57-year -old Dale Smith?and 58-year-old David Smith were supposed to return from their trip at 7:00 p.m. that night and had failed to do so.

In a news release issued Monday, Lee said several teams were hastily organized Friday night to look in the area that night and throughout the Saturday morning in the South Pass area. Weather ?conditions hampered the search.

“Most roads in the area during this time of year are inaccessible by vehicle; however there are a multitude of?roads and areas that had to be checked out,” Lee said. The search continued through Saturday without success. The? actual search area intensified further east on Saturday as most of the areas in and around South Pass had been ?checked out he said in the release.  Fixed wing aircraft were utilized to search most of the mountain area when weather conditions? permitted.

On Sunday a helicopter out of Worland joined the search, which had now expanded to the Jeffrey City area. The? helicopter crew located the men’s vehicle around noon on the Bison Basin Road near Picket Lake, some 25 miles ?south of the Highway 789 and Sweetwater Station area; the men were not with the vehicle.”The missing men called? from the Sweetwater Station Rest area about 30 minutes after crews located their vehicle to report they had been? rescued by an oilfield truck after walking about five miles Sunday morning,” Lee said. The men were in good condition, they ?were not injured. “They went a different direction than what they had told family members.” He said their truck became stuck Friday ?afternoon in a large snow drift.

“The Sheriff’s Office urges residents using the vast areas of Fremont County to plan a route, notify someone were ?you are going, and stick to the plan,” he said. “If something happens we can reach you much quicker when we have a ?general idea of where to start looking.”


  1. Linda Hudson

    Our Search & Rescue folks are the best. SAR is made up of volunteers that risk their safety and give up many hours of their "free time" to assist those in need. Hope those who were involved send a big thank you and a hefty donation to SAR. These searches are costly both in dollars and volunteer hours.

  2. Cheryl Jeannotte Fuechsel

    Linda, I could not have said it better myself. We are so blessed as a community to have these volunteers.

  3. Lesli Callister Smith

    My name is Lesli Smith. It was my husband Dale and my brother in law David who were stranded this weekend. I, first of all am thanking the dear lord up above for watching down on my two loved ones (also my dog bandit who is just like our child). I am so thankful and totally indebted to the fremont county sherrifs office and the search and rescue people and all of the volenteers who put thier personal lives aside to help my family. God bless you all. We can never probably thank you all enough, but we are planning to donate to the SAR as soon as we can to help the nest person who needs thier help. Please don't judge these men for making a bad judgement call, as if there is no one out there who has never done something stupid as well. They feel awful about all of the trouble that you think they have caused everyone else but I hope that you never have to go through what we as family have experienced in the last few day. God bless you all.

  4. Laurie Smith

    My family is very grateful for the SAR for help in finding my dad and uncle, but having them home safe was on our minds more than how costly"in dollars" it was.

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