Saturday, July 7, 2012

YET ANOTHER MISSING PERSON IN THE SLV

Jack Gordon and Casey Berry are not the only two men to disappear from the San Luis Valley during that timeframe.  On April 2, 2009--six months to the day after Jack disappeared--a man named Michael Rust was reported missing under suspicious circumstances from his home on rural property near the town of Saguache. The Alamosa Valley Courier has run several articles on the case. This version, from March 2010 gives a good case summary.
Sometime after 7 p.m. on Tues., March 31, 2009 Mike Rust went missing. He had gone to the store and bought groceries earlier in the evening and when he returned to his remote home something made him think his home had been broken into. He called a friend, [redacted] of Salida and told her he thought someone had broken in. Within an hour he called her again and said he had seen someone and was going to follow their tracks. Investigators believe the first call was made from Rust’s car, and then later he called from his cell phone from within his home and then left on a red and white colored Honda CRF 250 Enduro motorcycle that belonged to his friend [redacted], looking for whoever may have broken into his home. 
That was the last time anyone saw or heard from Mike Rust. Some physical evidence was found during the investigation...
...including part of a revolver handle off one of his weapons, a bloody vest (confirmed to be his blood) and some scuffle marks in the dust. A few months later his motorcycle was found, dumped in a ravine on National Forest land about 20 miles to the east.

Although Mr. Rust's case got more publicity, garnered a more active investigation by local law enforcement, drew a larger short term search effort, had a sizeable reward offered, and had some physical evidence; now more than 3 years later the status is the same as Jack Gordon's case. He is presumed dead, probably murdered by person or persons unknown. The case remains open but unsolved.

This view from GoogleEarthTM, shows the position of Mike Rust's disappearance relative to Jack Gordon and Casey Berry. The location is about 65 miles north by northwest from Jack's place across the north-south length of the San Luis Valley. The motorcycle was found about 20 miles due east of Rust's property. For reference, the grey-white blob just to the right of center on this inset is Great Sand Dunes National Monument.

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