MOGOLLON, N.M. (KRQE) - The truck belonging to an Arizona man missing since a flash flood hit Mogollon Saturday night has been found, but there is no sign of him.
New Mexico State Police confirm aerial searchers spotted Howard Bassett's truck wrapped in mud and flood debris Wednesday. Late Wednesday a ground team with a cadaver dog hiked to the site in Silver Creek off State Road 159, but on Thursday State Police said Bassett was not in the truck.
Bassett, 83, had been staying at the Silver Creek Inn when it was evacuated Saturday night. He did not return to the inn after floodwaters receded, and his absence was reported on Monday.
Ground and air crews began searching along NM 159 in the belief Bassett was heading down the canyon to U.S. Highway 180 and Springerville, Ariz.
Also on Wednesday a primitive four-wheel-drive road was opened from Deadwood Canyon to Mogollon to bring supplies into residents. Work was slowed due to multiple 15-foot dropoffs from the old road and boulders the size of small vehicles being washed into drainages, according to Catron County.
The road is open only to emergency agencies and local residents, and the county says the damage to NM 159 is so extensive it may be several months before it is open to public travel.
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