Search for missing doctor turns to recovery mission

2014-03-19T19:23:00Z 2014-03-19T23:10:11Z Search for missing doctor turns to recovery missionPhil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

EAGLE COUNTY, COLO. | After an extensive five-day search for Dr. James McGrogan, of Chesterton, the Eagle County Sheriff's Office announced late Wednesday the efforts are now focused on recovery rather than rescue.

The department issued a statement late Wednesday.

"With no clues to locate James McGrogan, search and rescue efforts have now turned to a recovery mission," it said. "Thoughts and prayers of the Eagle County Sheriff's Office and Vail Mountain Rescue Group go out to the McGrogan family."

A prayer vigil is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Chesterton.

McGrogan, 39, was reported missing about 5:30 p.m. Friday. He was hiking with three friends north of Vail and decided to hike ahead when the others took a break about 10 a.m.

They were all headed to a backcountry cabin referred to as the Eiseman Hut. When the others reached the site, McGrogan was not there. The search was interrupted Tuesday by heavy snow and falling temperatures.

When McGrogan was last seen about 10 a.m. Friday, he reportedly was carrying a large pack with food, water, basic medical supplies, a sleeping bag, avalanche beacon, GPS and warm clothing.

A 1993 graduate of Chesterton High School, he returned to the area from Wisconsin last summer and started a job as an emergency room doctor at the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka in February.

More than 50 people and two helicopters were involved in the search. Agencies involved included the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, Vail Mountain Rescue Group, Colorado Army National Guard High Altitude Aviation Training Site, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Alpine Rescue Group, Teller County Search and Rescue, Summit County Rescue Group, Grand County Search and Rescue Group and The Salvation Army.

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