Monday, September 19, 2016

The legacy of a lost person - Jon Francis

A friend sent this article on the 10th anniversary of the death of Jon Francis in the wilderness…

Decade after son's death, Stillwater man tends legacy

… Jon Francis went missing July 15, 2006 while hiking in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. A wilderness searcher found his remains a little more than a year later, on July 24, 2007; he had fallen to his death from the north face of a mountain known as the Grand Mogul. At the time he disappeared, Jon, 24, was working at Luther Heights Bible Camp near Ketchum, Idaho. He also was a youth minister in Ogden, Utah…

… In the past 10 years, David Francis, 72, has emerged as a national advocate for missing adults. He has written a book, “Bringing Jon Home,” and founded the Jon Francis Foundation, which provides information and advice to families searching for people missing in the wild.

He was pivotal in the passage of the state’s “Brandon’s Law,” named after 19-year-old Brandon Swanson, who disappeared in southwestern Minnesota in May 2008. The law requires law enforcement agencies to file missing-persons reports and begin investigations when an adult disappears.

The Jon Francis Foundation has provided crisis and grief support to more than 40 families in 14 states and Canada. The latest search, in May in southwestern Colorado, was the best-organized search to date, Francis said.

Joe Keller, 18, of Cleveland, Ohio, went out for a run on the morning of July 23, 2015, in Antonito, Colo., and never returned.

The foundation helped the Keller family by assembling a team of 25 ground searchers and 11 certified search dogs and covered a large area around Keller’s last known position, Francis said. The team logged 30 “dog days” — cumulative days of canine search — and more than 20 ground-search days.

Sadly, Francis said, Keller was not found, and his disappearance remains a mystery…

Sounds like reporting of missing adults remains spotty in many states. I suspect it’s more common than we know. I wonder how much is predation, particularly in the west.