Family of man missing in Uinta Mountains asks volunteers to join search efforts Friday

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SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah – The family of a man who disappeared in the Uinta Mountains spoke in a press conference Thursday, and they are asking for volunteers to aid in the search.

Melvin Heaps, 74, went missing Monday night near Crystal Lake Trailhead. His family says they are trying to remain hopeful, but they need help.

“The sheriff's office tells us they are equipped to handle volunteers, so we would like people to come up and help out,” said Margo Heaps, Melvin’s wife. “He's a 74 year old man that loves the Uintas. In fact, I teased him before he left, I said, ‘You're having a love affair with the Uintas’ and he goes: ‘Yup!’”

Heaps is believed to be wearing a rust colored shirt with beige stripes, blue jeans and suspenders with a straw hat.

The Garrett Bardsley Foundation has joined the search effort and is asking volunteers to join in. About 20 volunteers helped out on Thursday, but searchers hope to have more volunteers on Friday. They say additional volunteers are "desperately needed" for Friday's search.

Volunteers should meet at the Crystal Lake Trailhead Friday beginning at 7 a.m. Those who come to volunteer should be physically fit and have the proper gear to search in the mountainous terrain, like hiking boots, suitable clothing, and water.

Visit the Garrett Bardsley Foundation’s page on Melvin Heaps for more information.