Missing Colorado Man: When There Are No Leads

Missing Colorado Man: When There Are No Leads

Facts of the Case

Ryder Johnson was 20 years old when he disappearance on January 17, 2016. Johnson was last seen leaving his job at Eldora Mountain Resort at about three in the afternoon. After several weeks of searching for the young man, search crews and rescue teams have only been able to locate Johnson’s car. The car was found the night of January 17 parked at Gross Dam Road in Southwest Boulder County. Ryder’s cell phone and Identification for the Eldora Ski Resort were found near the vehicle. Rescue crews searched Gross Reservoir and Walker Ranch immediately after Johnson was reported missing to no avail. There have been no new leads in the Johnson case. A boot with a severed foot inside was found on June 1, 2016, however though DNA testing it was determined that the foot does not belong to Ryder Johnson. His parents have established a $100,000 reward for any new information that helps find Johnson or leads to an arrest if foul play was involved. The reward expires on the one-year anniversary of Johnson’s disappearance, January 17, 2017.


Ryder Johnson: Physical Descriptionryder-johnson-_missing-poster

  • Age: 20 years old
  • Height: 5 feet 10 inches
  • Weight: 155 lbs.
  • Race/Appearance: Caucasian
  • Gender: Male


If you have any information regarding Ryder Johnson’s disappearance contact the Sheriff’s office at: (303)441-4444


Option 1: Establish a Reward for Information

According to Professor Alexandra Natapoff of Loyola Law School
offering cash rewards for information in criminal cases is on the rise. Professor Natapoff has stated that she is unsure whether or not rewards actually produce results. According to BBC, only about two percent of rewards are claimed. However, rewards do increase the media attention surrounding the case, which in itself can help provide law enforcement with needed information. William P. Barrett, a writer for Forbes, stated in his article “Economic Stimulus: More Cash Rewards To Solve Crime” that rewards do have one practical advantage,

The U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment puts limits on the ability
of governmental agents to collect information, including a requirement that most searches need prior judicial approval after a showing of Crime Scene Image‘probable cause’. But there is almost no limit on the use by government of information voluntarily provided by private citizens.

In regards to the Ryder Johnson case, The Johnson family created the reward in hopes of receiving new information. The police are no longer actively searching for Ryder Johnson, even though the case remains open. The police will investigate new tips, but they do not have a dedicated team looking for leads.


Option 2: Hire A Private Investigator

The National Crime Information Center reported 84,961 active missing persons cases at the end of 2015. Persons under 21 years old make up 49.5% of these cases. Police Departments across the United States are overwhelmed with missing person cases in addition to homicide and larceny cases. Local law enforcement only have so many resources to devote to all of these areas of crime, so in order to ensure your case is being given the full attention it deserves hire a Private Investigator to take a look at your case.

Private Investigators Can:

  • Conduct mobile or stationary surveillance
  • Perform convert operations
  • Collect additional evidence admissible in court
  • Dedicate more time to your case
  • Provide support and information to families


Option 3: Generate Media Attention And Community Engagement

Media attention can be extremely helpful in generating tips about missing persons. Keeping the media engaged in your loved ones story can be challenging, but it is important to keep people aware of your loved ones case. Community engagement is another avenue for generating important leads in your loved ones case. More people in the community may have information in the case, and providing them volunteers-searchingwith a way to contact a tip line or come forward with information is important. Local searches also require volunteers; engaging your local community can produce helpful volunteers. Setting up a Facebook page is another way to spread awareness and information about your loved one. These are just a few of the steps you and your loved ones can take to help law enforcement find your loved one.


If you have any information regarding Ryder Johnson’s disappearance contact the Sheriff’s office at: (303)441-4444


Author: Tiffany Walker Lauth Investigations

Colo. police retrieve body from irrigation ditch

GREELEY, Colo. — Police retrieved a decomposed body from an irrigation ditch in northern Colorado on Wednesday, about a half-mile from the home of a missing sixth-grader.

There was no immediate indication of whether it was the body of 12-year-old Kayleah Wilson, who was last seen walking March 28 to a friend’s house for a birthday party.

“We are unable to make an identification at this time,” Sgt. Joe Tymkowych said. “The decomposition is to the point where it’s difficult to say whether it’s a male or a female.”

Tymkowych said investigators couldn’t rule out that the body was the brown-haired, blue-eyed Wilson, described as about 5-foot-1 and 145 pounds. “Given the size of the person and its state of decomposition, it’s a possibility,” he said.

A worker checking the ditch for problems after heavy rain Tuesday found the body in about 3 feet of water early Wednesday, Tymkowych said.

Tymkowych wouldn’t comment on how long officers believe the body was at that spot. Searchers had checked the ditch at least twice before while looking for Kayleah, he said. Investigators planned to use dental records and possibly DNA and hair fibers to identify the body.

Identifying the body through dental records could take days, but it could take weeks if investigators must use DNA, FBI spokesman Dave Joly said.

A few of Kayleah’s friends and residents gathered at the ditch as officers walked along it searching for evidence on Wednesday afternoon. Investigators found what appeared to be a scrap of clothing in the ditch.

“Whether that particular piece of evidence at the scene is related to the case, we still don’t know,” Tymkowych said, adding that investigators also found a coffee cup and other items he would not disclose. “Anything that’s not a weed or a rock or piece of dirt, we picked it up.”

Kayleah’s friend Shelly Culver, 18, described Kayleah as outgoing and said she loved to draw. “Kayleah would not be the kind of person to run away.”

Melissa Lynch, 31, whose daughter goes to school at nearby Frontier Academy, said, “To a lot of us that live here that have kids, it’s more than just ‘that Greeley girl.’”

A victim’s advocate at the home of Kayleah’s mother, April Wilson, said Wilson declined to comment Wednesday.

Associated Press writer Samantha Abernethy contributed to this report.