On the heels of an exhaustive search several weeks ago, the latest mission for Tonto Rim Search and Rescue volunteers ended smoother Thursday — with the victims found quickly and easily.
Volunteers located a Payson couple safe and secure in their vehicle, which went kaput on a four-wheeling expedition south of Payson in the Four Peaks area, said TRSAR Commander Bill Pitterle.
Reportedly, the couple was four-wheeling in their pickup when they got stuck off Forest Road 422, which is near Edwards Park, southwest of Tonto Basin. Pitterle said it was not clear to him whether the truck broke down or got stuck.
Either way, they could not drive out over the rutted road.
At 10:30 p.m., Pitterle and four other volunteers went out to look for the couple in their Jeep and quads.
At 3 a.m., volunteers located the uninjured couple and gave them a lift out.
Volunteers crawled back into their beds by 6 a.m. Friday.
An April 5 search was far more strenuous. TRSAR volunteers, working with the sheriff’s office, searched for several days for a missing Beaver Valley man. Volunteers covered dozens of trails for any sign of the man, but unearthed no clues to the man’s whereabouts.
A member of the Gila County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Posse even died during the search, when he fell 20 feet.
On April 7, the man showed up safe in the Valley at his family’s home. Reportedly, the man said he had forgot to tell anyone he was planning to ride his quad to look for work.