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Cook County grad missing in Colorado ski country

Jasper (Jaz) McGrath
Jasper (Jaz) McGrath

A 19-year-old Cook County graduate who recently left the North Shore and moved in with his older brother in Colorado ski country is missing. Police there are asking for the public's help in finding him.

Jasper (Jaz) McGrath was last seen in the West Vail area Jan. 6 at about 10 a.m. when he put on his snowboarding garb and left for Vail Mountain, police said. Jaz's brother, 21-year-old Joe, the brothers' parents and an aunt are poised to do what they can in the search.

Joe McGrath and ten of his friends plan to ride their boards in areas where Jaz is known to snowboard in the hopes of turning up something, said father Tim McGrath, who arrived in Vail in the middle of the night. He said Jaz's mother, Gail, and her sister have been in the area since Tuesday putting up fliers with Jaz's photo.

According to a report in the Vail Daily newspaper, Vail Police Sgt. Chris Botkins said his officers received more information on where McGrath liked to snowboard in recent days but that there’s still no clues where McGrath might be, or whether he is even in the Vail area.

Vail Mountain Rescue searched outside of the usual ski boundaries, in areas McGrath was known to snowboard, which turned up nothing. Vail Ski Patrol also helped search within Vail ski boundaries, according to the Daily. “We found two areas where a natural avalanche had occurred so we checked with probes,” said Eagle County Sheriff's spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly.

Cordingly said until conditions improve or the police get more information about specific areas where they should search, everything is on hold.