Palisade High School officials ID teen missing near Colorado River in letter to parents

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) -- In a letter from Palisade High School principal Dan Bollinger to parents, Bollinger identified the teen who went missing in the Colorado River as Alex Head, an 11th-grade student at the school.

The letter reads as such:
"PHS Families~

It is with a heavy heart that we, Palisade High School, need to inform you of the probable and tragic loss of one of our own, Alex Head. Alex, a current 11th grader at PHS, is presumed dead after being swept away by a strong current while swimming in the Colorado River.  Our deepest sympathies go out to his parents, brother Cody, and 3 younger siblings.  This tragedy has taken us all off guard."

Crews continued searching Friday for the body the 17-year-old who went missing in the Colorado River, near Corn Lake, Wednesday night.

Officials said 20 members of Mesa County Search and Rescue searched the river between 29 Road and 32 1/2 Road using five boats. A helicopter searched the river as far down as the Loma boat launch.

"They are looking in whirl pools and snags, and any areas underneath the surface, where somebody potentially could be caught,” said Megan Terlecky, Mesa County Sheriff’s Offic spokeswoman.

Terlecky said recovery operations were suspended Thursday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. due to fatigue among the search crews. She said the search will resume Friday morning.

Officals said said swift currents in the search area were causing crews to move slowly and methodically in their search.

A family member of Head called our station and described the missing teen as being 6 feet tall, with blonde hair, wearing a black t-shirt with black shorts. He has a tattoo on his right shoulder.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office believed he got swept into the river while swimming at a rope swing near 32 1/2 Road.

Deputies said witnesses reported he did not have a flotation device and was struggling to stay above the water.




 
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