Volunteers from 3 states search for missing Utah man in Nevada

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HENDERSON, Nev. -- More than 70 people came together to search for a missing Utah man in Nevada Saturday.

The search for 30-year-old Steven Koecher took place in desert terrain south of the Henderson Executive Airport outside Las Vegas. Volunteers from Nevada, Utah and Arizona combed the area from 8 a.m. to just after noon.

According to Rolf Koecher, Steven's father, the volunteers separated into five teams which were assigned to specific areas of the desert. They found and marked suspicious items such as clothing, a spent bullet casing -- even areas that looked like shallow graves.

Volunteers from 3 states search for missing Utah man in Nevada

Rolf Koecher says the searchers discovered clothing that may have belonged to his son. They also discovered several bone fragments, but couldn't determine if they were human. The fragments were sent to the coroner's office for analysis.

Following a tip, search crews visited a homeless camp near the area where a young man had reportedly been staying for the past few months. The camp turned out to be abandoned, but searchers took pictures of clothing found there.

The search teams did not find any solid evidence of foul play during the effort.

Searchers included members of the Henderson community, members of Koecher's LDS singles ward in St. George, former LDS missionary companions, former University of Utah classmates, friends and neighbors.

The St. George native disappeared Dec. 13 of last year. Authorities say he drove from his home in St. George and was seen on a surveillance video walking away from his vehicle in the upscale Sun City Anthem neighborhood of Henderson.

Koecher's family has offered a $10,000 reward for information in the case.


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