Resident relates to family of missing boy
October 12, 1999
It has been nine days since 3-year-old Jaryd Atadero vanished without a trace in Poudre Canyon, near Fort Collins, Colo.
Atadero isn’t the first child to disappear in the rugged canyon. Almost 58 years earlier to the date a 2-year-old boy named Raymond Dowd disappeared a stones throw from where Atadero was last seen. Ted Cochran, 79, who has been a Craig resident since 1975, was one of the 1,000 people who participated in the search for Dowd in October, 1941. According to Cochran, the cases are similar.
Dowd disappeared on Oct. 1, 1941, while playing in the yard of his home with his brothers and sisters. Like the Atadero cases it was a matter of minutes before Dowd’s parents realized he was missing and began searching for him, according to Cochran.
Cochran, who was 22-years-old at the time, remembers participating in the search vividly. The principal at the local high school gathered up 50 volunteers from around the area and Cochran was quick to sign up.
“All volunteers have the feeling like they want to do what they can for the family,” said Cochran. “We did what we could to help them.”
Since Cochran is hearing impaired he was given a whistle and was told to head off in a specific direction up the canyon. He would walk five miles in the direction and would return to the Dowd residence, and walk another five miles in a slightly different direction.
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Cochran suspected someone abducted the Dowd boy due to the way the blood hounds reacted. Cochran said the dogs would follow the boy’s scent to an area near the road and then go back to the residence. The dogs did this repeatedly, leading Cochran to believe someone picked up the boy from the road.
The search for the Dowd boy was abandoned after eight days and no trace of the boy was ever found.
Cochran spent a fair amount of time with the Dowd family during the search and he feels bad for the Atadero family because he understands what they are going through.
“It is a terrible thing that they are going through,” said Cochran. “I saw what the Dowd family went though and it is horrible to think that another family has to go through that.”