Search efforts for a missing father scaled back due to weather conditions

Iron County Sheriff's Search and Rescue crews prepare search efforts for Daniel Michael Brown, 34, who was reported missing Tuesday morning from the Kane Springs area. Iron County, Utah, March 29, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff's Office, Cedar City News
Daniel Michael Brown, 34, was reported missing Tuesday morning after going to find help for his family whose vehicle had gotten stuck in the Kane Springs area. Iron County, Utah, March 29, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff's Office, Cedar City News
Daniel Michael Brown, 34, was reported missing Tuesday morning after going to find help for his family whose vehicle had gotten stuck in the Kane Springs area. Iron County, Utah, March 29, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY – Bad weather Tuesday evening scaled back search efforts in Iron County for a father who was reported missing earlier in the day.

Crews from several agencies combed the Kane Springs area most of the day looking for 34-year-old Daniel Michael Brown. Search efforts were downsized, however, around 6 p.m. when the weather turned to near blizzard conditions, authorities said.

For now, efforts have been scaled back to two Iron County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team members and one deputy, said Iron County Sheriff Lt. Del Schlosser.

Winter weather advisories are in effect for Iron County from Tuesday night through Wednesday at 4 p.m.

“The search has been scaled back due to weather conditions and for the safety of the searchers,” he said. “The search tonight will end within the next few hours.”

Search and rescue efforts will resume in the morning.

The Iron County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue teams brought in several agencies to locate the father of four who had been reported missing since Monday evening.

Brown and his family had been living out of their vehicle and were looking for a campsite in the Kane Springs area northwest of Parowan and southeast of Minersville when their van got stuck.

“He (Brown) recently lost his job and they have been homeless for about a week,” Schlosser said.

Brown left to find help around 4 p.m. His wife and four children, ranging in age from 7 months to 11 years old, remained in the vehicle where they spent the night.

Daniel Michael Brown's van that got stuck in the Kane Springs area Monday night. Iron County, Utah, March 29, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff's Office, Cedar City News
Daniel Michael Brown’s van that got stuck in the Kane Springs area Monday night. Iron County, Utah, March 29, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar City News

When Brown’s wife woke and realized her husband had not returned she used his cell phone to call for help. The 911 call came in at approximately 10:30 a.m.

Schlosser said she didn’t know her husband had left the phone behind until that morning when she looked in the console.

Authorities said they were able to locate the family by getting their GPS location from the 911 call. The family is reported to be in stable condition.

At approximately 11 a.m. deputies hiked in and found the wife and children safe in the car.

“The vehicle wasn’t running and the family was cold but they were all okay,” Schlosser said.

Brown is described as a white Caucasian, weighing 250 pounds with green eyes, brown hair and 6 feet 3 inches tall. When he left the vehicle, authorities said he was wearing a blue t-shirt, blue jeans and tennis shoes.

“Daniel does have survival skills,” Schlosser added.

Iron County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue were joined by Volunteers in Police Services, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service staff, and Iron County Sheriff deputies.

Three Search and Rescue dog teams also assisted the crews.

Upper Limit Aviation attempted to use a helicopter to locate Brown but weather conditions prevented them from being able to fly very long, authorities said.

Anyone with information on Brown is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 435-867-7500.

Email: tsullivan@stgnews.com

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

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5 Comments

  • ScanMeister March 30, 2016 at 6:41 am

    The sad thing is that one of the Ham Radio repeaters is only a few miles away and had this family had a Ham Radio they could have called for help. The terrain in Utah is challenging to many cell phone providers with dark/no service areas sometimes when you really….really need service. Great safety investment that is very affordable.

    • ScanMeister March 30, 2016 at 8:56 am

      I did notice the initial call to 911 by the family……but many times there might not be cell service.

  • laytonian March 30, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I don’t think “Mr Survival Skills” would have called for help on a radio; he didn’t do that with his cellphone.

    There are innumerable problems with this family’s actions. After losing your job and becoming homeless, the best thing to do is to head into snowy mountains, in a van, with your wife and four kids? On dirt roads, in a storm?

    We taxpayers pay for many social services to help homeless families. There was no need for them to go where they did….especially there.

    I believe there’s much more to this story.

  • RealMcCoy March 30, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    This is tragic on so many levels- that there is a family of 6 living in a van; that he is missing and in all likelyhood going to be found with a bad outcome; that this mother of 4 will be be raising 4 children in poverty.
    With the weather that went through the area, a tshirt, jeans, and tennis shoes is a recipe for disaster. Survival skills would have been knowing to stay with the vehicle.
    Will STGNews follow up on this story? Does the family have a warm place to stay? I’m serious- if they aren’t in a shelter at this point I’m willing to put them up in a motel.

  • ladybugavenger March 31, 2016 at 2:07 am

    This is interesting….in thinking he left the vehicle on purpose, but not to get help. But to hurt himself because he thought there was no wait out to help his family and blames himself for the situation. And that’s why he left the phone for the wife to find and call for help. Homelessness is destitute and painful, and despair. It can destroy you if you let it but you gotta keep on fighting against what put you there and for what is going to get you out. However, one week for a homeless family is not long, but I believe the man gave up. I hope I’m wrong

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