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401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Search for Mary Finnegan suspended

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Mesa County Sheriff's Office photo For five days, 40 to 60 people actively searched the wilderness where Mary Finnegan's car was found abandoned. This photo was taken at the staging area for search and rescue crews on the Uncompahgre National Forest.

After spending five days combing the Uncompahgre National Forest, searchers have exhausted resources and all leads looking for 82-year-old Mary Finnegan of Delta.

In light of the time that has passed since Finnegan was reported missing, and when her car was found as well as the extensive search that was conducted, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office made the decision to suspend the search at the end of last Thursday.

"This was a very difficult decision to make. We were really hoping to find Mary and bring some closure to her family," Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis said in a press release issued last week. "Our searchers are heartbroken, as they really put everything they had into finding her."

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office remains in communication with Finnegan's family, who has been a part of the search from the beginning.

The sheriff's office is committed to resuming the search if more information or new leads come to light about Finnegan's whereabouts.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Mesa County Search and Rescue, Mesa County Sheriff's Posse, Montrose County Sheriff's Posse, Montrose Police Department, Carbon County (Utah) Sheriff's Office, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Civil Air Patrol, local ranchers familiar with the area as well as family members were involved in the search.

All of the resources at the agency's disposal were used including ground teams, experienced trackers, ATV teams, horses, dogs and air resources.

"We can't thank enough all of the agencies and volunteers who have dedicated their time and energy to this search effort," said Sheriff Lewis. "These volunteers took time off from their jobs, and gave up, in some cases, days with their own families to help in the search for Mary Finnegan."

It hasn't been an easy task as the entire search area is covered in heavy vegetation. Searchers said the brush was not only difficult to move through, but also nearly impossible to see through. The terrain is very mountainous and physically challenging with steep drop-offs.

The main search was focused on a five- to six-square-mile area around where her car was found. ATV teams went out about a 20-mile radius.

Finnegan's car was found Sunday, July 24, about 4-5 miles off Divide Road near the Mesa County and Montrose County line.

The car was towed out of the forest Monday and was processed by Mesa County Sheriff's investigators.

Nothing has been found to indicate foul play.

Finnegan was last seen Friday, July 15 at the Rose Bowl Bowling Alley in Montrose wearing jeans, white shirt, blue sweater or sweater vest.

Finnegan is 5'1, 100 pounds, 82 years old, and has dementia.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with helpful information to call 970-244-3526.

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