Body of missing hunter located
September 11, 2015
Steamboat Springs — After a four-day search, the body of missing 43-year-old Minnesota hunter Richard “Rick” Harkins was found Friday.
Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said Harkins, who was known as an avid outdoorsman, was found close to his camp along U.S. Forest Service Road 480 by someone who had volunteered to help with the search.
“He wasn’t that far from camp. Maybe a couple hundred yards,” Birch said. “I don’t have a lot of details about how he was found.”
It was suspected a medical condition might have caused Harkins’ death. Birch said Harkins was not feeling well Sunday night, with symptoms of possible altitude sickness.
“There are potential medical-type issues that would explain his death,” said Birch, who added that Harkins’ family had been notified.
Harkins had been bow hunting with four other people near the bases of Meaden Peak and Sand Mountain in the Routt National Forest.
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Initially, searchers believed Harkins had gone hunting on his own Monday morning and did not return to camp Monday night. He was reported missing Tuesday night.
Birch said there may have been some miscommunication, and Harkins might have stayed behind Monday morning because he was not feeling well while the rest of his hunting party went into the woods.
Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office were investigating the death.
The search for Harkins involved people on the ground and in helicopters and planes above. Search dogs were also used, as well as Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers.
“Our Search and Rescue members are volunteers, and what a vast area to search,” Birch said.
Harkins was living in Duluth, Minnesota. He was divorced and had no children.
Harkins was a sales representative for Castle, which makes snowmobile and motorcycle clothes and accessories.