Officials: Missing teen spotted near Enterprise, Beaver County search called off

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UPDATE:A planned search for a teen believed to be missing in the west desert of Beaver County was called off Thursday night after authorities with the sheriff's office said the boy had been spotted outside their county.

The Beaver County Sheriff's Office asked for volunteers to help them continue the search Friday morning for Roberto Madrigal, 13, who had been missing since Tuesday.

However, a late-night post on the sheriff's office [Facebook page](<' target=>) announced the cancellation of the search after "a positive ID was reported in Washington County of (Madrigal) and (Beaver County Sheriff's Office) no longer feels he is located in our area."

Sheriff Cameron Noel told KSL the boy was spotted near Enterprise but had not been located by authorities Thursday night.

Details of how the search for the boy would proceed outside of Beaver County were not immediately available.

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BEAVER — Search and rescue teams are trying to find a 13-year-old boy who has been missing in the desert of western Beaver County for more than two days.

Beaver County Sheriff Cameron Noel said Roberto Madrigal is from California and was camping with a group from RedCliff Ascent. The organization works with teens from across the country who are having difficulties, taking them on wilderness retreats.

At around noon Tuesday, Noel said Roberto ran away from the group.

He said Roberto told friends he believed Las Vegas was on the other side of some nearby mountains – an area that is miles from any civilization. Las Vegas is a four-hour drive away.

Noel said the group has had teens run away in the past, and the organization is well-equipped for search and rescue.

“They normally locate them within a few hours. They are pretty sophisticated,” Noel said.

After 24 hours, though, the group called for help from the sheriff’s office. Deputies and search and rescue members spent Thursday scouring the desert while a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter searched overhead.

“They had a track on him, but unfortunately a rainstorm came in, washed away all those tracks, so we have no tracks,” Noel said. “We don’t have a direction of travel, we don’t have a whole lot.”

Noel said Roberto may have headed toward Rose Canyon, which he said has some treacherous terrain and plenty of wildlife.

“There’s cougars out here. There’s venomous snakes, we’ve got rattlesnakes that are out here, coyotes, all kinds of different things that could happen,” he said.

Weather is also a big concern. It has been in the 80s and 90s with occasional thunderstorms. Noel said Roberto had a water bladder with him, but not enough to last him a significant amount of time.

“What I’m worried about is the weather setting in on him and heat exhaustion,” he said.

Roberto was last seen in a light tan colored shirt with brown pants. That clothing could be difficult to spot against the desert landscape.

“It’s hard to see. He’s going to blend in. If he’s hurt himself, if he’s laying down somewhere, it could be impossible to see him,” Noel said.

Noel said Thursday’s search would go on until dark. He would appreciate the help of any volunteers who could come to the area on Friday. Anyone who is willing to help in the search should contact Beaver County Search and Rescue at 435-438-6444 or 435-421-9802 or the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office at 435-438-2862.


Contributing: Jordan Ormond

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