Celebration of Life

A Celebration of Life service will be held for Matt Busker on Wednesday June 26, 2013 at 7 PM at Gracie Barra Grand Junction Gym. 1801 I-70 Business Loop, Unit C-2 Grand Junction, CO 81501.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Matt can be made on mattbusker.com or sent to Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors: 155 Merchant Drive, Montrose, CO 81401. 

February 7, 1980 - June 23, 2013


Matthew Busker, age 33, was found on Sunday morning, June 23, 2013 in rural San Miguel County after a week long search. 

A memorial service to celebrate Matt’s life will be held on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Survivors include his parents, Tom Busker and Linda Holcombe; sister, Melanie Bean and daughter, Jordan. 

Arrangements are being handled under the direction of Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors (970) 240-9870. 

(source: http://www.sunsetmesafuneraldirectors.com/obituaries/Matthew-Busker/#!/Obituary)

Thank you all…


Unfortunately the search for Matt ended this afternoon, and sadly not as we had all hoped.  The family is grieving, but is comforted by the closure brought and all the help offered by strangers and friends who took up the effort to find him.  
We may not have the answer we wanted, but thanks to you all, we have one.

- Matt’s family


Anonymous asked: For the television stations did you contact stations in Grand Junction? Or radio stations

He was covered on most of those, at least online. I did not follow-up with them.


Anonymous asked: My friend deals with the news a lot and said that if the news station was contacted and informed of everything that was going on maybe you could get more searching help!

I submitted the story to all 3 Denver news networks via email as well as form on Wednesday.  I think I got a response that one would do a blurb, but in all the chaos I’d have to go back and look which one.

Basically in the area around where it happened we’ve done our best to get it spread by Facebook, etc.  The main thing we really need now is trail-tracking dogs and people who spend a lot of time in the area.  With such an immense amount of ground to look, we really need a direction to start or locals who know where to look. 

Small search group out today


A small search group (including my wife Melanie) is heading up to check out some of the areas of interest today and bringing Matt’s dog Angel in hopes of her picking up on something.  They have two-way radios and are organized with the maps marked off to search.  

If anyone else is planning on searching the area today, please call Melanie at 678-431-8518 so we can combine resources.  She should be reachable for the next hour or so.  If you can’t reach her (due to the low signal in the area), shoot her a text message so she’ll get it if she gets into an area with signal for a second.  

There’s heavy interest in the area above where the car was found, but the altitude can be especially hard for those from out of town.  Any locals or experienced climbers would be a huge asset today.

Thanks again for all the help and support, hopefully we can get an answer to this soon. 


Anonymous asked: I'm sure the police have already done this, but have all the hospitals in area been checked ? Including Mercy Medical in Durango ?

I believe the police did those checks and are in communication with hospitals for unidentified persons.


Anonymous asked: This isn't really a question but more of a suggestion. Matt was a hiker and I have noticed by Matt's photos that every year around Father's Day he would go on a hike. So I am assuming he had a hike in mind that he wanted to do. I also think some focus should be around the attractions that would interest Matt such as Bridal Veil Falls, some mines, Mt Trico, Three Needles, Ingram Peak, Telluride Peak, Chicago Peak and possibly made his way to the switchback area to check out for jeeping.

After speaking with the Sheriff’s office, who did not search higher than 12,600, the areas above where the car was found, especially the red marked areas on this map are of extreme interest.  If anyone is an experienced climber at these altitudes would like to search, it would be an immense help, as even the 12,000 ft altitude can be tough on those from out-of-town.

We spent the whole day in the area today. we walked as many trails as we could and talked to several other hikers in the area and there was a college group in the area doing research. Someone has done a good job with the sings and flyers as well. Dose anyone know if he had a mountain bike with him? We also used binoculars to scan the area from the higher ridges as much as possible. We will continue to do what ever we can.

(Thanks so much for the help!  If you could look at the map we put together and give us an idea of where you covered, we can mark it off so we can focus on fresh areas!)


Anonymous asked: What determines authorities search limits? There is so much territory to cover and the authorities have such needed resources. Why did they suspend their search so soon? Being here in Georgia is such a helpless feeling. In addition to prayers and donations, is there anything else we can do from here to help?


Much of the issue was the location where he was lost was at the intersection of 3 very small counties. This means they have to work out jurisdictions and coordinate with each other, etc.  San Miguel county was where the car was actually abandoned, so they took the lead in the investigation.  The other 2 counties offered some resources, but these are very very small counties in Colorado.  San Juan county only has a population of 692 people.  Ouray county, around 4500.  San Miguel is the largest with a population of 6600.  

Also, these small counties simply do not have the resources for a long-term large scale search in a dangerous region.  If it was a child or a senior citizen lost, the CBI would get involved, and many more resources.  A woman lost would likely also get a longer search, likely, as foul play is more likely.  


Anonymous asked: How do you get into contact with people who are going out to look!

For now call my wife Melanie at 678-431-8518. We are trying to find a local who can be a point of contact for planning.

Help Needed: Areas of Interest for Search Parties


After speaking for over an hour with the investigator in charge of Matt’s disappearance, we have worked together to create a map of locations searched in depth by the police search party, and some other places of possible interest.  He also let me know that Matt was last seen wearing a black shirt & khaki shorts.

There is a huge swath of land unsearched, but there are better places to start looking than others.  What we need most now are people who are familiar with the area and terrain that are willing to check out these areas.  Anyone who spends a lot of time in these areas would be a huge asset to a search.  The areas on the map are coded green, orange, or red.  Areas in green have been verified to have been searched.  Orange areas are of interest, but secondary priority.  The red areas are the ones we need to search first.  Question marks are worth taking extra time to look around and the red marks are first priority.

Remember, however: This is a very dangerous and high-altitude area, so PLEASE take proper precautions if you’d like to search.  There are a lot of crevices and mine shafts, but many of them may have dangerous gasses or chutes you may miss.  Please do not risk yourselves - we are looking for 1 person, we don’t want anyone else in need of rescue.

We also need someone (preferably a friend of Matt’s who knows the area) to be the coordinator, someone to call who can help get the search parties together and organized now that we have areas to focus. 

Anyone who is familiar with someone in the area who has bloodhound dogs or other trail-scent dogs would be the best option.  The wind in this area is very high and changes, so air-scent dogs would not be the best option until we have a trail/area to focus on.  If anyone knows of anyone who has these dogs in the area, we are willing to pay for their services, so let us know.  We are currently attempting to get the alie.org dogs to come from the Denver area, but anyone local would be easier by far.

Thanks again for all the help, and a special thanks to Investigator Norman Squier with the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office for taking a couple hours out of his day off to help me put this map together.

If you are interested in helping search, or have any input or questions, please click either the Submit Info or Ask Question buttons above. 


Anonymous asked: I would be able to look Monday-Wednesday. I can bring with me friends familiar with the area. Would it be wise to take Angel along? I know she isn't the sniffing breed but she would know her master.

Every bit of help would be good.  If you brought something of his for her to smell and just let her look around the area, there’s an overwhelming amount of land to cover, so it’s better than the coin-flip of guessing which direction to start walking.  

Donations & Other Help


Fabio Costa from Gracie Barra, one of Matt’s good friends and mentors published a method donate to assist the family searching in Colorado.  Many have asked to be able to post a link.  You can either donate by going to this website (mattbusker.com) and clicking the yellow button at the top, or you can click or share this link: http://beanj.com/V5Uf which will take you directly to the donate page.  You can note how you would like the funds allocated if you’d like.

Thanks to everyone who has offered assistance via any method.  We are trying to collect all the search party information and put together a map to make it clear where has been searched and how well.  We can hopefully use this information to set up search parties familiar and comfortable with the area. We will post more information about this as soon as we can.

Thanks again!


Anonymous asked: Was his cell phone found and if so where? How was the picture that Matt took at one am on his cell phone retrieved? Can the track where his cell phone was by using his connection through his ipad

His iPhone was in the Jeep plugged in.  The iPhone allows you to access the photo library even when locked if you have it enabled, so police were able to see the last taken photos.  The photo posted below was taken by his sister (my wife) Melanie yesterday from the same spot.

Also, the area in which Matt was found has no coverage for cell once you pull off US 550, and then it pops up again very spotty about 9,000-10,000 feet.  The area where his car was found is confirmed to have no cell signal at all in a mile and 1/2 radius or so.