Owyhee officials: Search in snowy wilderness for man is now ‘a recovery incident’

Provided by Amy Jennings

With a winter storm hitting the region, the Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page Tuesday night that it was suspending the “missing person” search for a 32-year-old man who left his car to get help after getting stranded with a woman and their infant.

Eric Rose and Francesca Watson, 29, were trying to go to Silver City with their 1-year-old last week, but they got stuck in deep snow. After about four or five days, Rose attempted to walk out to get help, and he hasn’t been seen since.

All roads to Silver City are closed to the public from Nov. 1 until the Friday before Memorial Day, something the Sheriff’s Office reiterated in its Facebook post.

Rose was last seen in a snow-covered area near Cow Creek and Trout Creek roads. Watson and the child were found safe in the vehicle and taken to Jordan Valley.

Multiple deputies searched the area on foot and with snowmobiles. The Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue, using dogs, also searched the area. But with two new storms coming, the Sheriff’s Office said it was calling off the search “due to extremely unsafe terrain and inclement weather.”

Read the full Facebook post here.

The Sheriff’s Office is encouraging any family or friends who continue to search to contact officials at 208-495-1154, ext. 2, prior to leaving. It said its recovery efforts would continue “as weather and resources allow.”

Reporter Ruth Brown covers the criminal justice and correctional systems in Idaho. She focuses on breaking news, public safety and social justice. Prior to coming to the Idaho Statesman, she was a reporter at the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Bakersfield Californian and the Idaho Falls Post Register. If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.