Extensive Search only Turns Up Two Footprints Of Missing Woman
Location: Pike National Forest
Date Missing: 09-06-2002
Current Status: Unresolved
Schmidt resided in Avon, Indiana in 2002. In September 2002 she traveled to Lost Valley Guest Ranch in Colorado with her husband, an anesthesiologist, to accompany him while he attended a medical conference.
Schmidt decided to go hiking on September 6. She is an experienced hiker and had visited the area before, but its physical features had been greatly changed by a forest fire and she may not have known her way around. She left Lost Valley Guest Ranch alone, carrying a backpack which contained a jacket and two bottles of water.
Schmidt was last seen at about 3:00 p.m. on a trail leading to a rocky overlook east of the ranch. She was reported missing by her husband at 7:00 p.m. when she failed to return to the ranch, but search efforts did not begin until 2:00 a.m. the next day.
Nearly seventy volunteer searchers, tracker dogs, and helicopters scoured the area for Schmidt for six days after she disappeared. Her husband spent several days searching by motorcycle.
Search efforts were hampered by inclement weather, and the only thing ever located was two sets of Schmidt’s footprints near Cheesman Overlook, one set on each side of the ridge.
Schmidt was employed as a social worker in September 2002. Foul play is not suspected in her disappearance; investigators believe she became lost and succumbed to the elements of the wilderness.
A memorial service was held for her a short time after her disappearance, but her remains have not been found and her case is unsolved.