UPDATED: Hurricane man goes missing between Washington, Hurricane

Hurricane police are searching for Ryan Mertlich, who has been missing since Monday, Hurricane, Utah, photo undated | Photo courtesy of Hurricane Police Department, St. George News

HURRICANE — Law enforcement officials are searching for a Hurricane man reported missing almost two days ago.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported late Wednesday that the missing man’s car was found on the Arizona Strip in Mohave County, Arizona.

Missing person: Ryan Mertlich | Sept. 16, 2015, Flyer courtesy of Hurricane City Police Department, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge
Missing person: Ryan Mertlich | Sept. 16, 2015, Flyer courtesy of Hurricane City Police Department, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

Hurricane City Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office request the public’s help in finding Ryan Daniel Mertlich, who was last seen Monday around 8 p.m.

Mertlich left a family member’s home in Washington City and apparently never arrived home, Hurricane City Police Sgt. Brandon Buell said in a statement released Wednesday. Mertlich was reported as missing at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“His family and friends have not heard from him since then,” Buell said.

Police have attempted to contact Mertlich by phone with no success.

We do believe that Ryan left a family member’s home in Washington City, headed home and are not certain if he made it home and left or never arrived,” Buell said. “Family told us that he likes to drive through Warner Valley to get home sometimes.”

An officer with the Bureau of Land Management has driven through the Warner Valley area and found no signs of Mertlich or his vehicle, a “camo” color 1990 Geo Tracker. An aerial search is now being conducted, Buell said in his release issued around 3:18 p.m., and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is helping to coordinate further efforts searching the Warner Valley area of the county.

“The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Hurricane City Police Department have located a vehicle registered to a missing man out of Hurricane,” the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release issued  late Wednesday.  “The unoccupied vehicle was located Wednesday afternoon on the Arizona Strip in Mohave County Arizona”

Local law enforcement was able to conduct an aerial search for Mertlich with the aid of a Washington County resident, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in its release, resulting in the discovery of the missing man’s vehicle.

“Mohave County officials are currently en route to the location to continue the investigation into the possible whereabouts of the missing person,” the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.

As Mertlich’s vehicle was found in Mohave County, Arizona, the public is directed to send any information regarding the vehicle and subsequent search to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. A contact number is provided below.

The photo included with Buell’s release is an unrelated booking photo because it was the only photo available, Buell said; the current search is not made as part of any law enforcement action.

Ryan Mertlich – description provided by Hurricane City Police Department

Anyone with information about Mertlich is asked to contact the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office at 928-753-0753

St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic and Senior Reporter Mori Kessler contributed to this report.

Updated 9:20 p.m. to reflect information provided by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • SteveSGU September 17, 2015 at 10:01 am

    “On the Arizona Strip in Mohave County Arizona” is a very huge area, perhaps 10,000 square miles. How about asking the Sheriff’s Department to provide more specific, more useful details about where the man likely is (near his car).

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