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JARYD ATADERO, 3 y/o disappeared while hiking with group,Poudre Canyon, CO, Oct. 2, 1999

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Skitt, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Skitt

    Skitt Bronze Member


    October 1999
    RUSTIC, Colo. — Rescuers ended the search for a missing 3-year-old boy on Friday after a week of searching the rugged Colorado mountains.

    Jaryd Atadero vanished while on a hike with his 6-year-old sister and 11 members of a Christian group who were staying at a cabin resort run by their father, Allyn Atadero, a physical education teacher.

    Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden called off the search after a half-dozen searchers and a couple of dogs again failed to turn up any evidence of the boy's location.

    Since Jaryd's tracks were not found, investigators believe he probably died of a fall in the rocky terrain or of exposure, as the nights have been in the 20s.
    "At this point the likelihood of him being alive is none," said Deputy Cindy Gordon.

    The case could be reopened if new evidence is found, she said. The family printed fliers about Jaryd's disappearance in the hope that hikers or hunters might find something, she said. Hunting season opens today.

    Although she said earlier that searchers would be allowed back on the trail today to look for Jaryd on their own, Gordon said they cannot go back.

    "The searchers need to get their lives back together," she said. As many as 70 searchers, trackers and dog teams had tried to find the boy. Jaryd vanished when he ran ahead of one bunch of hikers and failed to catch up with a second group

    October 1999
    Oct. 7 - POUDRE CANYON - Searchers are pursuing a new theory that a missing 3-year-old Littleton boy might have been attacked by a mountain lion in rugged Poudre Canyon.

    But there is conflicting opinion about the source of tracks first thought to be those of Jaryd Atadero, said Deputy Cindy Gordon of the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.

    Officials on Wednesday said searchers found mountain lion tracks near what appeared to be footprints and handprints left by the child.

    But Colorado Division of Wildlife officials inspected the prints Wednesday evening and determined they might instead be those of a bear instead of a child. If that is true, the attack theory would be disproved.

    Jaryd was lost while hiking with his 6-year-old sister and 11 members of the Christian Singles Network, many of whom are friends of the children's father. Jaryd ran ahead of the hikers he was with, and within an estimated 15 minutes, he vanished.

    Searchers from around the state have combed the area almost around the clock since Jaryd was reported lost Saturday afternoon.

    The number of searchers and the territory to be covered will be scaled back today.
    Copyright 1999 The Denver Post

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  2. Skitt

    Skitt Bronze Member

    June 2007

    Authorities have speculated since his disappearance that Jaryd may have been attacked by a mountain lion or perhaps a bear. Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden still believes that to be true, he said Tuesday.

    At the time of Jaryds disappearance the theory led to a predator, Alderden said. Everything were finding now is consistent with that theory.

    In the week after his disappearance, more than 200 volunteers, law officials and search-rescue dogs searched an area seven miles long, hoping to find something that would lead to the boys rescue.

    But nothing was found until last week, when two hikers from Fort Collins found a pair of sweatpants, a fleece pullover shirt and a pair of childs sneakers.

    The clothing, found approximately 114 miles up and 1,000 feet off the Big South trail, was turned into the Larimer County Sheriffs Office by Fort Collins residents Gary Watts and Robert Osborne.

    While the sweatpants were badly torn and missing a leg and the pullover had multiple puncture holes, the boys shoes were in remarkably good condition considering three years of weather exposure if the clothing has been there the entire time. Sheriff Jim Alderden said he believes it has.

    Two different-colored hairs found on the clothing will be analyzed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in the next week to determine if the hairs are human or animal. Clothing samples will determine if any DNA remains will be sent out of state. Alderden was unsure how long that would take.

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  3. Skitt

    Skitt Bronze Member

    [Our primary rendition of what happened to Jaryd is told in "Missing 411-Western United States."
    What you ware reading here are new details supplied by Allyn Atadero, Jaryd's dad.]

    Readers know that we have a policy of not contacting victims or their families. If they reach out to us, we will always meet with them.

    On April 8 the Can Am Missing Project website got an email from Allyn Atadero, Jaryd’s dad. What sometimes seems like destiny may really be something we don’t understand. In 2010 I lived in California, I now live in Colorado and Allyn teaches at a school less then 5 miles from my house. We agreed to meet at a restaurant I frequent regularly.

    Chain of Events
    Pic of Jaryd's found shoe :
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  4. Skitt

    Skitt Bronze Member

    May 2011

    Allyn Atadero Writes Book About Son’s Disappearance

    On Jan. 2 of every year another candle is added to a birthday cake.

    Jaryd’s sister then solemnly blows out the candles for her little brother”he’s no longer there to blow them out himself. One by one, 12 candles were lit this year”nine more since the last time Jaryd was there to celebrate his birthday. Still, his father and sister keep the tradition going year after year.

    Jaryd Atadero was 3 when he went missing on Oct. 2, 1999, up along the Big South Trail in the Poudre Canyon. He had wondered off while hiking with his then-6-year-old sister Josallyn and a group of 11 adults from a Christian singles group. In the week after his disappearance, more than 200 volunteers, law officials and search-rescue dogs searched an area seven miles long, hoping to find something that would lead to the boy’s rescue. Missing person’s posters were plastered all over Northern Colorado and the case gained considerable local and national media attention. But little was found on the mountain.

    It wasn’t until three years later that two hikers found Jaryd’s fleece pullover, tattered pants and shoes on a mountain slope several hundred feet from the trail where he was last seen. A tooth and piece of skull was also recovered, which Larimer County authorities said suggested Jaryd was attacked by a mountain lion. The case was officially closed and the story drifted from the spotlight.

    But some wounds remain unhealed even now.

    Atadero has become active in several organizations that help families of missing children and has been an advocate for several pieces of related legislation.

    He said it is his way of trying to make Colorado a safer place and to prevent other families from experiencing what he went through. On Jan. 2, he released a book titled Missing: The Jaryd Atadero Story, which he collaborated with his brother on.

    “The primary purpose of writing the book was for my daughter,” Atadero said. “I wanted something she could turn to and say, ‘This is my brother and this is his story.’ I want him to be a part of her life.”

    Atadero said he also wanted people to understand what happened from his perspective. He has often been asked if the book helped give him closure and if it was a way for him to cope with the loss of his son. And though, in some ways it was somewhat therapeutic, Atadero strays away from the term “closure.”

    “I hate the word closure,” Atadero said. “Closure to me means you close something. You close the door. I think about my son everyday and that’s because I loved him. The only reason I wouldn’t think about him is if I didn’t love him.”

    His book is a difficult read”not because it’s complicated, but because it is so heart-wrenching. Atadero said it was often just as difficult to write.

    Although law enforcement is confident that Jaryd died on the mountain, Atadero outlines five scenarios which include a mountain lion attack, drowning in the river, falling asleep and dying from hypothermia, tumbling down a cliff or being abducted. He maintains that in his mind he has to accept all possible scenarios because he doesn’t know what happened for sure. He said he never gave up hope.

    But readers might get the impression that there are still strong feelings that haven’t settled, or that there are conflicting opinions between emergency services and Atadero.

    Many in law enforcement and those who were involved in the search were disappointed with the book, including Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden and Don Griffith, who was the incident commander with emergency services, at the time Jaryd went missing.

    Alderden said he skimmed the book, and he believed it is largely a work of fiction.

    “Some of the allegations, specifically about search teams being turned away, couldn’t be further from the truth,” Alderden said. “The fact is our search and rescue team is known throughout the state and country for being one of the finest. They are very knowledgeable.”

    Griffith also said his initial reaction wasn’t pleasant.

    “The effort we put forth was the maximum amount of effort,” he said.

    He said because the case involved a child, the emotions were heightened for all involved in the search. Both Alderden and Griffith added that throughout the incident, Atadero seemed to play to the media.

    “We would have a conversation with him and everything would be fine. The next day, he would go to the media and bash us,” Alderden said. “It was a real roller-coaster ride with him. He would criticize us one day and praise us in the next breath for the same actions. It was very odd.”

    Alderden wasn’t surprised that Atadero decided to write a book. Though he disagrees with some of its content, he said he sympathizes with Atadero and the loss he suffered. Similarly, Atadero may still wonder if certain things could have been handled differently, but he appreciates the hard work that went into the search

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  5. Whatsnext

    Whatsnext Well-Known Member

    Thank you for starting the thread, Skitt! :thankyou: in my opinion there are still unanswered questions about all this.
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  6. Dobrev

    Dobrev Former Member

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  7. Dobrev

    Dobrev Former Member

    @Whatsnext - I know you have looked into this case a whole lot, what is your take on what happened to little Jaryd? I’m about 15 minutes off of finishing the gen why episode. It’s very interesting. You are totally right about the sheriff. He dropped the ball on this one. Big time. Though, his attitude in general doesn’t sound good at all.

    It was said on the podcast that they were doing a documentary on Jaryd’s disappearance and after the interviewer was done with talking to the sheriff, the sheriff thought that all the cameras were turned off. Turns out he was wrong. He ended up saying “are you sick of hearing about this case too?” Wasn’t this just a mere 3 weeks or something after Jaryd disappeared? A little 3 year old boy and the one person who is supposed to keep that town safe is the one stating that he is tired of hearing about him? So tragic.

    There was so much more about that sheriff in that episode I gasped 1000 times.
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  8. Whatsnext

    Whatsnext Well-Known Member

    The sheriff was victim-bashing big time, IMO. Okay, even if we say: here is a grieving father who can't deal with his son's death...still there were leads that the sheriff's department didn't pursue, for example: the Mesa Verde sighting, where, IIRC, a ranger thought he saw Jaryd in the company of a man, Jaryd came over and took the ranger's hand, then the man called him back. I am not saying that the boy was indeed Jaryd, but the fact that LE didn't follow up on this until much later makes me wonder...
    by the way, the sheriff was interviewed about this incident when he made his remark(He thought the cameras were turned off): ' are you as tired of this story as I am?'
    I don't believe in the mountain lion theory because of the state Jaryd's clothes were in. If a mountain lion, bear or eagle had taken him, his clothes would have been torn and shred, but they weren't. A predator would take the easiest way to the flesh, and not undress his victim. Jaryd's pants were found inside out.
    His clothes didn't show a sign of an attack.
    That is why I still think there's more to it than 'just ' a little boy getting lost in the woods.
    I really recommend this site:


    ETA I wish my english was better:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  9. Skitt

    Skitt Bronze Member

    Your English was perfect, whatsnext!

    I do not like the sheriff at all :mad:, and I agree about the clothing.

    I want to know more about the group he went off "hiking" with. A 3 year old seems too young for wandering like they supposedly were doing. Something is very wrong with the stories I have read so far.
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  10. Dobrev

    Dobrev Former Member

    What were they? Like a Christian singles group or something? Some local Christian group anyway. Allyn had become friendly with them. He owned the resort they visited each time they hiked. Even though I sit here now thinking that I would never let Dobrev Jr go off in the wilderness with a group of people who were not my family, they were not entirely truthful with Allyn about where they were taking him. Ok, so maybe the plans changed so they didn’t actually lie. They were supposed to just to go to a little place about a mile up the road. But after they reached that point, the group decided to find a spot to hike. But, Jaryd and his sister became their responsibility the minute they left with them on this hike. They should have taken the children back before they carried on. The hike was not what Allyn agreed to let the children go on.
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  11. Dobrev

    Dobrev Former Member

    Did you ever read about Azaria Chamberlain? I don’t believe Jaryd was taken by a mountain lion either but I don’t think Azaria’s clothes were torn up either, even though she had supposedly been taken by a dingo. I believe she was taken by a dingo too.

    It was something about how the dingo attacked it’s prey and “removed” the prey (the baby) from its casing (it’s clothing). Though, I don’t think mountain lions work in the same way.
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  12. Skitt

    Skitt Bronze Member

    That's it .... why did they not take the little ones back before going off to dangerous territory?? I really wonder about who was in that group. Just because someone calls himself a Christian does not always mean they won't do something bad. I have no idea if anyone in the group could have had any blame here, but .... it niggles at me.
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  13. Whatsnext

    Whatsnext Well-Known Member

    Originally, the christian singles group just wanted to go to a fish hatchery, which was easy to hike and about 5 miles away from the resort. A family friend, who had babysat the Atadero kids before, was part of that group and wanted to watch the children. That is why Allyn reluctantly gave his consent.
    But at the hatchery they changed their mind and went to the Big South Trail, almost 17 miles from the resort and without telling Allyn.
    That trail is very rugged and not an easy hike for small kids.
    That group wasn't a close-knit group of friends, I think they all had just met each other. At the trail they quickly split up into three little groups with Jaryd running back and forth between the groups, and then he disappeared :(. Two fishermen met him alone near the trail, talked to him and just let him go:(. Lots of neglectful behaviour by grown up people on that day:mad::(
    Allyn thought that Jossalyn and Jaryd were with a person he trusted.
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  14. Whatsnext

    Whatsnext Well-Known Member

    I knew the story, but not that detailo_O
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  15. Blue G 3

    Blue G 3 Well-Known Member

    I agree with you @Whatsnext, I believe there are details that aren't being told. I've seen enough to know that not everything fits neatly into "the Box".
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  16. Dobrev

    Dobrev Former Member

    So do you think the the sheriff was covering for something, wn?
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  17. guess who

    guess who Bronze Member

    If it we a singles group, many to most, if not all of them might not have had kids to know exactly what they were in for in taking a toddler.
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  18. Dobrev

    Dobrev Former Member

    I don't even think the one woman (Janet?) that had taken care of the children previously, was with them at all times. Considering that Jaryd was running between the groups that had formed on the hike.
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  19. Skitt

    Skitt Bronze Member

    Even a 5 mile walk would be difficult for a 3 year old. It seems it was a poorly prepared activity with little thought to having small children along. Is it wrong to feel a bit angry? It just does not sit well with me yet... and so little help for the family.
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  20. Skitt

    Skitt Bronze Member

    I agree with this. Are details being hidden or held for good reason, tho? After all this time .... ??
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