Chesterton man missing on hiking trip in Colorado

2014-03-17T21:00:00Z 2014-03-18T12:40:08Z Chesterton man missing on hiking trip in ColoradoLauri Harvey Keagle lauri.keagle@nwi.com, (219) 852-4311 nwitimes.com

CHESTERTON | Emergency crews are searching for a Chesterton man who went missing Friday on a hiking trip in Colorado.

"We're just waiting to hear," Arlene McGrogan, of Chesterton, said Monday of the search for her son.

Dr. James McGrogan, 39, is a 1993 graduate of Chesterton High School and a graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine. McGrogan was on a hiking trip with three friends near Vail, Colo., when he went ahead of the group Friday afternoon, according to media reports.

The friends reportedly told authorities McGrogan had a pack with food, water, medical supplies, a GPS and tools with him when he went missing.

Authorities in Eagle County had no new information Monday night after conducting their search during the day.

Searchers are scouring an 18-square-mile area.

McGrogan disappeared Friday after he decided to press ahead while his group rested on a trip to the Eiseman Hut, north of Vail. When his friends reached their destination, McGrogan wasn’t there.

They called the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office about 5:30 p.m. Friday and searchers immediately headed for the area, law enforcement officials said. The search continued Saturday and Sunday.

Before resuming the search Monday morning, emergency personnel had logged more than 700 man-hours and 24 hours of helicopter work, according to Vail Mountain Rescue.

Searchers said the weather was hampering efforts, adding that 18 square miles is a huge area to search. The area stretches from Middle Creek to Booth Creek, to behind Bald Mountain.

McGrogan's mother said he recently moved back to Indiana with his wife, Sharon — also a Chesterton High graduate — and the couple's two children, ages 6 and 7. He recently started a new job in the emergency department at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, Arlene McGrogan said.

McGrogan previously lived in southern Wisconsin, where he working as an emergency room physician in Beloit.

Arlene McGrogan said her son "was always adventurous" and likes to snowboard. The hiking trip to the Eiseman Hut, north of Vail, was his first, she said.

Search crews have numbered more than 50 people, along with two Blackhawk helicopters from the High Altitude Aviation Training Site in Gypsum, headquartered at the Eagle County Regional Airport.

Last year, HAATS pilots flew to the rescue a record 28 times. They directly saved 14 lives. Of those missions, eight were casualty evacuations.

Randy Wyrick of the Vail Daily contributed to this report.

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