An Air Force officer who was found dead over the weekend in Colorado’s rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains after summiting two 14,000-foot peaks had been assigned to Offutt Air Force Base until recently, Air Force officials said.
The body of Lt. Col. Dan Wallick, 41, who had worked in integrated missile defense at Schriever Air Force Base near Colorado Springs, Colorado, since June, was spotted by helicopter searchers Saturday in rugged terrain. A climbing team went to the area Sunday to recover it, Custer County Search & Rescue said.
Wallick’s home of record was Houston, according to a military press release, and he entered military service in July 2000. A spokeswoman for U.S. Strategic Command said he worked as a program manager at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Offutt from 2015 until June.
He and his wife, Danita, lived on South 82nd Street in Papillion. They have two young daughters, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help the family.
Wallick texted his family Wednesday after reaching the top of Challenger Point and Kit Carson Peak, but then wasn’t heard from again. A picture with the text, sent at 12:12 p.m., showed him at the top of Kit Carson.
Wallick’s family called 911 Wednesday evening, saying his return was overdue, according to Custer County Search & Rescue. Multiple agencies joined the search the next morning.
Search and rescue teams covered the major trail systems and routes leading to the top of the mountains but were unable to find Wallick. More than a dozen agencies and organizations took part, including Wallick’s command, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, Buckley Air Force Base and the Colorado Army National Guard.
No funeral arrangements have yet been announced.
This report includes material from the Associated Press.
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