Missing 54-year Old Camper

July 5th, 2005
Vail Like

by Phil Thompson

At 5 PM on July 5, 2005, RMRU was called out to search for a missing man at Vail Lake. The man had been missing for more than 41 hours, and the family had not reported the man as missing for more than 36 hours. After an initial search by helicopter and boat returned negative results, RMRU was called in to search the area.

At 18:30, eight RMRU members were deployed by boat to the area where the man was last seen. The team was to establish a perimeter where no one had been and then sweep that whole area back to the water. The team was able to do this in about two and a half hours. While the RMRU team was doing their search, two specially trained dogs were doing a search on the water. Both dogs had a good hit right below a very steep cliff area. Having completed our search sweep, we put the search on standby until the next day, July 6th, when divers were scheduled to search the bottom of the lake where the dogs got a hit.

On the morning of July 6th, the body of a man was found floating in the area identified by the dogs. The man was identified as Sammy Cooper from Homeland, CA.