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12-year-old Scout missing in Daggett County

By Paul Nelson | Posted - Aug. 12, 2011 at 9:38 p.m.



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MANILA, Daggett County — Around 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dawn Ropelato received word that her son, 12-year-old Jared Ropelato, had been found.

Moments later, she said, a second phone call told her that they had been misinformed and that Jared was still missing somewhere in the forest near Daggett Lake.

"I was very relieved because I was hoping he'd be found before dark," Dawn Ropelato said. "The pit is back in my stomach now."

Jared was part of a Scout troop from Hooper that left the Spirit Lake trail head Thursday and hiked four miles to Daggett Lake, according to Daggett County sheriff's spokeswoman Karen Peterson.

"They hiked up from the Spirit Lake Trailhead. It's about four miles up to the Daggett Lake," said Peterson.


I was very relieved because I was hoping he'd be found before dark. The pit is back in my stomach now.

–Dawn Ropelato


Peterson said Ropelato disappeared a little after noon. Search and rescue crews have been sent to help out, along with the Department of Public Safety helicopter. They're not sure if he has any warm clothes for an overnight stay, but they do know what he was wearing before he disappeared.

"It's sounds like regular Levis and a regular shirt," Peterson said.

The troop was taking part in activities near their camp Friday when someone realized about noon that Jared was missing, Peterson said.

A Scout leader in the group was able to send a text message to his wife to alert her about the missing Scout. She notified a camping lodge in the area, and lodge employees contacted the sheriff's office.

The Daggett County search and rescue team was called out about 4:30 p.m. Friday to begin looking for Jared. The search is being aided by the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter, Peterson said.

Dawn Ropelato described Jared, her youngest child, as a "fun, crazy little kid." She said he is enthusiastic and was excited for the camping trip with his troop. When she was told that her son was missing, around 1 p.m. Friday, she said it didn't surprise her.

"He does kind of lose his way," she said. "His mind goes so fast. He doesn't stop and think about what he's doing."

As the hours passed Friday with no sign of the boy, Dawn Ropelato said she thought Jared would get scared, but that he would be able to make it through the night on his own.

"I know that he knows to pray," she said. "I personally think that he will be all right and that he will be found well and in good health."

The Garrett Bardsley Foundation, named for a boy who passed away during a scout outing, announced that it would be helping with the search for Jared on Saturday. They are looking for volunteers, as well as food donations from local restaurants. For more information visit findgarrett.org

Jared was wearing a gray shirt when he was last seen. No other description of the boy was immediately available, Peterson said.

Story written with contributions from Paul Nelson, [Geoff Liesik](<mailto: geoff@ubstandard.com>) and Benjamin Wood.

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