Prayer Vigil Held for St. Louis Park Father and Son Missing in Colorado

Updated: 04/09/2014 10:44 AM
Created: 04/08/2014 11:51 AM
By: Megan Stewart

At least 50 rescuers have taken to Mount Evans on snowshoes and skis Tuesday to search for a father and son from St. Louis Park who went missing on the mountain nearly a week ago.

Fifty-one-year-old Damian McManus and his 18-year-old son, Evan, went on a hiking trip in Colorado and have yet to return. Their vehicle was located Sunday near the entrance of the campground at Echo Lake.

Searchers from seven different agencies continued Tuesday's search of the Echo Lake campgrounds with high hopes due to the blue sky and clear air, according to Alpine Rescue member Howard Paul.

Monday's search efforts were thwarted by blizzard-like conditions and wind. The National Guard helicopter was called off that afternoon due to the treacherous weather conditions.

Cellphone data released by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center on Tuesday shows both men's phones pinged last on Wednesday near the southern part of the campground. One shut off at 3 p.m., the other four hours later at 7 p.m. It's not known if the batteries died or if the phones were shut off. The pings have given crews a crude direction of where to search, Paul said.

Investigators also searched through Damian's laptop and found that he searched for tourist attractions in the area and looked up the forecast the night before going missing.

The family's mother and Evan's twin sister have flown to Colorado to be close to the search scene. Rescuers initially told them to hold off until they had more information.

Counselors are available to students at St. Louis Park High School, where Evan is a senior, to talk classmates through their feelings.

A prayer vigil was held in Minneapolis Tuesday night at St. Joan of Arc Church. 

The media was not invited inside, but we did see about 60 family and friends of the family turn out for the vigil. A family spokesperson told us the prayer vigil was important to keep everyone's hopes alive but to also help students at St. Louis Park High School cope with a very tough, emotional time.

Andrea Bouzrara tells 5 EYEWTNESS NEWS these high school kids have been through a lot and are very devastated by all of this and to be able to reach out to them and let them know others are sharing in their worries is very important.

Bouzrara says the "best thing we can do is pray and hope for a miracle that Damian and Evan are fine and will either walk out of those woods, or be found by rescuers."

Damian and Evan McManus
Photo: Courtesy of McManus family

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