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Another Day of Searching Passes With No Sign of Christiansen

By: Alyssa Chin/KKTV Email
By: Alyssa Chin/KKTV Email

The search for Mitch Christiansen continued Thursday at 11 Mile Reservoir. The former Springs mayoral candidate has been missing since last weekend when his boat was found capsized and his wife's body was recovered.

Crews say they focused their search on the east end of Eleven Mile Reservoir, but have been unable to find anything, as of Thursday evening. Park officials say that area has large boulders and deep dropoffs underwater.

The search was cut short Tuesday because of snow and rough water and ended Wednesday again with no results.

Autopsy results for his wife, 62-year-old Susan Christiansen, say that she died of accidental drowning. Her body was recovered from the reservoir Sunday.

The two were on a fishing trip when their boat capsized while they were on the reservoir at the state park.

"One of the frustrating parts is we don't know exactly where this whole incident began. We don't have any witnesses that have come forward to say that they actually saw it and so the search area is very large," park manager Kevin Tobey said.

Neighbors remember the Christiansens as cheerful, vibrant people.

"It's sad that this world or neighborhood will be missing two wonderful established community members," neighbor Chandra Donson said.

"I was shocked. Totally shocked (to find out what happened). (The Christiansens) were always friendly, always ready to help," neighbor Richard Williams remembers.

When 11 News spoke with the couple's son, John Christiansen, over the phone, he said the family is "figuring it all out," and "still finding out details." John also said his parents had the entire summer mapped out with fishing plans.

11 News anchor Don Ward spoke with a neighbor of the Christiansens Sunday evening.

She says she got word from the Park County Coroner that Susan Christiansen's body had been recovered and that authorities are still looking for Mitch Christiansen.

The neighbor says the couple just bought a tow-behind trailer and that they left Friday for a fishing trip, and that they were very excited.

She also says they are well loved by their family and friends and that this is going to be a difficult time for all of them.

After stepping down from the mayor race, Christiansen publicly backed Steve Bach who released a statement saying he and his wife "continue to pray for a miracle for Mitch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Christiansen family at this difficult time."

According to Mitch Christiansen's online bio, he and his wife have two children and five grandchildren.

Stay with 11 News and KKTV.com as more details about this event become available.


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