The Online Community for Silverton, Colorado


Former Mobius Cafe Owner, Winston Churchill, reported missing since August 27th

By Matt Lanning - Posted on 18 September 2008

Received an email today from a friend of Winston's... Turns out Winston has been on a summer-long trek from Denver to Durango on the Colorado Trail. He was being aided by friends who delivered food and supplies to him during his travels. Their last contact with him was on August 27th. He was last seen in the Uncompahgre Wilderness near Lake City by a sheepherder.

One of his friends has set up a blog with some information and hopes to create a central information point during the search.

There is also a 'missing person' poster attached to this blog entry here on Basecamp Silverton in case you might want to post some in your area/neighborhood.

The rest of the email continued with the following:

We are sending out missing persons posters for our friend Winston whom we have not heard from for over three weeks. We have been in contact with Sheriff Ron Bruce of the Hinsdale County Sheriff’s department, however, I want to make sure we cover as broad an area as possible so we are reaching out to the surrounding counties.

Winston lived in Silverton, CO for many years until closing his coffee shop and moving back to Denver. He had been hiking the Colorado Trail for the past several months, he started in Denver, and his plan was to hike the full trail ending in Durango. He had been in fairly constant contact with both Shanna and Jonathan until the end of October when he left his dog in Lake City. He made two phone calls to Shanna and Jonathan letting them know he would not be needing any more food packages sent along the trail and no one has heard from him since.

When he was last seen, by a sheep herder outside of Lake City, he was reportedly no longer continuing on the trail and was hiking towards the West Elk Drainage. He told the shepherd, that he was planning on returning to Lake City around the 8th of September; he has not returned since. He may continued on to the Blue Creek Drainage heading towards Cimarron and continuing to Gunnison, but we really have no idea. Ultimately, we are unsure as where he was heading. Sheriff Bruce did send out a Search and Rescue team, however, he felt that continuing the search given the lack of clues as to Winston’s direction and destination would be fruitless. Since he was last seen, people from Lake City have been hiking in the mountains and looking for him to no avail.

Winston has a history of instability and is a dedicated outdoorsman. He is strong and can cover a lot of ground quickly. However, at this point he last received supplies over a month ago and we are worried about his physical and mental state. About a year prior to leaving on this trip, Winston tried to commit suicide, he cut himself off from everyone and stopped eating for almost three months, surviving on juice, tea, and water. He dropped thirty pounds and started to black out when moving about, and yet he continued to survive. Since starvation was not working, he took an extremely large dose of Phenobarbital. That too failed. He became semiconscious a week later and he called 911. We are concerned that this episode could be a continuation of his prior suicide attempt without the ability to call 911. I am attaching his account of that suicide attempt along with a missing persons poster Shanna made. We hope he is just trying to get away, but his past behavior makes that seem like a remote possibility.

Shanna and Jonathan have been working with the Lake City Sheriff’s Department and others to try locate Winston. However, if you could please put these poster's up in town, at the post office, or other pubic places we would be most grateful. We know he may not want to be found, however, we hope that if someone sees him perhaps we can help him.

Thank you,
Paddy Hannon - Los Angeles California (213) 804-9287
Shanna Rivera - Denver, Colorado (720) 231-4595
Jonathan Wrobel - Chicago, Illinois (224) 532-0172

WinstonMissing.doc524.5 KB


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