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Green’s family thankful for community support

Husband and his brother located missing woman in Fish Creek on Monday

Zach Fridell
Rebecca Green's father, Eldon Adams, right, watches rescuers Tuesday morning as they work to recover the body of Green in Fish Creek below the second falls.
Matt Stensland

On the 'Net

Information about Rebecca Green's memorial service will be updated on http://www.rebeccagreenmemorial.com Friends and family are invited to share their photos on the memorial site.

To contact Rodney Green, e-mail rkgreen05@msn.com...

— The search for Steamboat Springs resident Rebecca Green has ended.

Her husband, Rodney Green, found Rebecca’s body at about 1:30 p.m. Monday while searching with his brother, Randy Green, and Routt County Search and Rescue volunteer Ty Upson.

Routt County Search and Rescue crews worked until 9 p.m. Monday in an attempt to recover Rebecca’s body. At about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, Search and Rescue volunteers were able to successfully free her body from the water and a log pinning her against the creek bank.

“It’s a relief,” said Rebecca’s father, Eldon Adams, at the Greens’ home Tuesday afternoon. “Mostly, I’d just like to thank the community for the love and support they have shown us.”

Rodney Green said the family has tentative plans for a memorial service and burial on July 11. More information will be available as the family formalizes plans.

Tuesday marked the 15th day in a row that Rodney Green searched the accident site where his wife and son, Kade, fell into the water June 13.

Kade was able to grab a branch and pull himself out of the water and later was rescued from the bank by Search and Rescue volunteers.

Kade has recovered from the bumps he sustained in the water and has only a small cast on his wrist, Rodney Green said. Rebecca Green went in the water while trying to reach her son.

“The way she died, the most important thing to me was … she died trying to keep her son from danger,” Rodney Green said. “I couldn’t ask for a better wife, a better friend. She was a fantastic mom. Her whole life was making sure our kids were taken care of and loved.”

Rodney Green said the funeral will be open to anybody who wishes to join.

“The most important thing now is, we’re planning a funeral, and we’re trying to figure out how we can live without her, at least physically,” he said.

The search

The water levels on Fish Creek declined precipitously between Saturday and Monday, giving rescuers a better view at the search sites, said Search and Rescue volunteer Darrel Levingston. On Saturday, the water levels peaked at more than 600 cubic feet per second, according to readings from the U.S. Geological Survey Web site. By Tuesday morning, the creek flow slowed to 217 cfs, Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall said, and by the afternoon, the Web site showed a flow of 146 cfs.

Levingston said the search had centered on several high-probability areas in the past two weeks, and Rebecca Green was found at an area searchers considered “super-high probability.”

Jim Linville, Incident Commander for Monday and Tuesday, said the searchers were looking in the right areas as they repeatedly combed the site.

“It was within 20 feet of where we thought she might be, but we couldn’t get in there because of the high water,” he said.

On Monday night, 30 volunteers showed up to help, including former Search and Rescue volunteers, firefighters and others.

That night, Rodney Green said he wanted to sleep near the upper falls after rescuers were forced to stop for the night because of darkness. He said Linville was able to eventually talk him into sleeping in his car in the parking lot, where his brother joined him. On Tuesday morning, they were able to hike to the recovery site at 7 a.m. before the first search teams joined them at 9 a.m.

On Tuesday, 24 searchers went to the recovery site, setting up a high-line rope system by 11 a.m.

Linville said the type of high-line operation Tuesday was something the crews had trained for, but it was unlike anything the search teams have used before in the field.

“It was like clockwork; it went so well,” he said.

The rig, with a line strung across the canyon above the creek, allowed searchers to place swift water rescuers into specific places in the creek. The searchers then removed debris from the river and used a chainsaw to cut three logs that were impeding the recovery.

“It seems painstakingly slow at times because you have to get somebody in the right position, make the cut and get (the log) out of there,” Linville said.

After the logs were removed, rescuers were able to hoist Rebecca Green’s body about 30 feet up a cliff face, then hike out of the area.

For more information about Rebecca Green’s memorial, to share photos or stories, or to donate to the memorial fund for Rebecca’s two children, Rachael and Kade, visit http://www.rebeccagreenmemorial.com.


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