Bodies of 2 Minnesota hikers found on Mount Evans - KMSP-TV

Bodies of 2 Minnesota hikers found on Mount Evans

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The McManus family The McManus family
Damian and Evan McManus Damian and Evan McManus
The same week that a team of Minnesota firefighters headed out to Colorado to search for two missing Minnesotans who disappeared during a hiking trip in April, officials confirm their bodies have been found.

Andrea Bouzrara, spokeswoman for McManus family, told Fox 9 News that the bodies recovered are the St. Louis Park father and son who had gone for a day hike during spring break. The Clear Creek County sheriff's office confirmed the identities Friday morning.

Damian McManus, 51, and his 18-year-old son, Evan, were last heard from on April 2. Search efforts were complicated by a spring storm, but more than 4,500 search hours were dedicated to finding the duo. Earlier this week, 4 firefighters from the Twin Cities metro traveled to the mountain to join the search.

MORE: Minn. firefighters continue search for father, son lost in Colo.

The Clear Creek County sheriff's office had initially received a call at 11:32 a.m. Thursday from the Team McManus volunteer search group, who had discovered one body in the area of Vance Creek. Alpine Rescue and Rocky Mountain Rescue who were already in the field searching, responded to the area and while doing so found the second body. The bodies were removed from the field by Alpine and Rocky Mountain Rescue and turned over to the coroner for official identification.

Hugo Searle is one of the four firefighters from the Twin Cities who made the trip to Colorado after family members asked the St. Louis Park Fire Department for help laying the father and son to rest. On Thursday night, he told Fox 9 News by phone that he hopes the discovery will help bring the family some peace and closure.

"It shows that if you stay committed to finding a solution and people stay engaged, eventually, these things do get solved,"St. Louis Park Fire Chief Steve Koering said. "We're just happy we could help the McManus family in some small way, and we hope their healing process happens very quickly."

Alpine Rescue dedicated 46 days and 5,000 hours to the recovery of and Damien and Evan McManus. Team McManus is made up of local searchers and one longtime friend of Damian McManus who volunteered their time and energy since the father and son went missing.

McManus family statement

"The family offers their deepest thanks for the diligent and on-going efforts of the official search and rescue teams, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Department & Coroner’s Office, the local angels -- Misty McGuire Keyoth and Team McManus, local Twin Cities Firefighters, close family friend Tom Traub and everyone who played a part in the search effort. Their unwavering focus, strength and positivity have kept the search active and gave hope that Damian and Evan would be brought home. A very special, heart-felt thank you goes out as well to everyone who has sent their love, support and prayers. It has meant the world to Katherine and Lauren to know that so many people have held them up. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers going forward."


FROM THE FOX 9 ARCHIVE

April 7, 2014: Minnesota father and son missing on Colo. hiking trip
April 9, 2014: 'All efforts exhausted' for missing Minn. father, son
April 10, 2014: Students at St. Louis Park High School mourn loss of missing hikers
May 10, 2014: Search for missing Minn. hikers resumes in Colo.



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