Search Dogs Assist in Finding Body of Missing Stevensville Man
According to Ravalli County Sheriff/Coroner Chris Hoffman, elements of True North Search Dogs, Ravalli County Search and Rescue, and Ravalli County Sheriff’s Deputies located and recovered the body of George Alex Baumann on Saturday, September 13th.
Hoffman said that Baumann, the 56-year-old Stevensville man missing since August 26th, was found in heavily timbered, steep terrain in the Ambrose Creek area of Granite County, east of Stevensville. Sheriff’s officials had continued the investigation into Baumann’s disappearance since September 2nd, when long-term search efforts had been suspended.
Hoffman clarified that suspending Search and Rescue’s long-term presence in the area did not mean that the case was ever closed, or that his office wasn’t looking for George Baumann. “Without further indication that Mr. Baumann had even been in the Ambrose Creek Area, we needed to regroup. We never stopped investigating, and we had a presence in the area, looking for clues, long after we pulled Search and Rescue out of Ambrose Saddle.”
He went on to say that teams comprised of sheriff’s deputies and available Search and Rescue volunteers, led by Undersheriff Steve Holton, continued combing the area as the investigation continued. “Those efforts yielded the discovery of evidence, well outside the original search area, which caused us to request further time from True North Search Dogs.”
Hoffman said that his teams were able to effectively narrow down the possibilities, while widening the search area. However, Hoffman said, “It is likely that Mr. Baumann would never have been found without the assistance of the search dog teams.”
Hoffman said that Baumann’s remains were located just inside Granite County, and that Granite County Sheriff Scott Dunkerson had been notified and had sent a deputy to Ravalli County.
Mr. Baumann’s body was transported to the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula for an autopsy, and Hoffman said that the investigation into George Baumann’s disappearance and death is ongoing.