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Searchers still looking for missing men as of mid-day Sunday

By Richard Shaw

While so far searching for the two missing men in Carbon County has brought no new revelations to those doing the search, the areas they have been looking in have become more limited as searchers on Saturday eliminated a lot of places the pair could be.

On Saturday air search crews used both a Utah Public Safety helicopter and fixed wing aircraft to search around the eastern part of Carbon County for the pair, while on the ground people hiking and others on ATV's and four wheel drive vehicles looked for Mark Widegren and Brian Axe, both 28 years old who were last heard from last on Jan. 24.

The pair, who are from Colorado and had been working on a pipeline in the Nine Mile Canyon area until they came to Price for some relaxation that day, have been the at the center of efforts by the Carbon County Sheriff's office and dozens of volunteers as the search heads Sunday into its fourth day.

Today (Sunday) there are at least three planes in the air looking for the two and the search area has been limited down to about a 25 square mile area.

The search didn't start until Thursday because no one from their family knew they were missing until Wednesday when one of their co-workers called a family member and said that they hadn't showed up for work that week.

On Friday local officials sent out a press release asking any businesses that have surveillance cameras to review their recordings from last weekend and report if they saw the gold colored 2000 Jeep Cherokee with Colorado license plate 724-TDP the pair were driving.

That evening it was reported that officials had been working with Emerytelcom on finding the signal of the pairs cell phones. Unfortunately no real time signals could be found, but it was revealed that the cell phones continued to operate until about three hours after Axe called his wife at 11:30 that night as he and Widegren sat in the Silver Dollar and watched a game on television. After that the batteries to to phones either failed or were turned off. With that information authorities were able to center their search a little more because the last signals came from east of Price toward the Nine Mile area.

The two men have been working on a pipeline for W.C. Streigel Inc. and left work about 5:30 p.m. that day. Because of the delayed reporting no one outside of the work area worried that anything out of the usual had occurred.

One of the biggest concerns is for Widegren, who had brain surgery only a few years ago. He has medication he takes to keep from having seizures, and it appears he would have had none of it with him. According to Todd Widegren, Mark's oldest brother and a family spokesman, he doesn't exactly need it every day, but that when he went off it once for a month he began having problems.

"He just never knows what the time period may be without it," Todd told the Sun Advocate Sunday morning.

The pair are lifelong friends said Todd and that "Mark came up to work with his good friend Brian for a couple of months" since Mark's landscape business was slow in Grand Junction for the winter.

A command center has been set up at the Holiday Inn, which has donated space for the operation. Many in the community have been offering help, not only by volunteering but by donating goods and food to aid volunteers and the family that is here who are also involved in the search.

Todd Widegren said that that both families are here searching including himself and the seven other siblings Mark has.

"We really appreciate the support of the community here," he said. "Wells Fargo was wonderful in helping us set up a donation account for money to fund this search and the Holiday Inn has been great to give us the space for this command center. I don't really know how much of the food and other things have been donated, but it is a lot. What we need more than anything is peoples time to help search and for everyone to get the word out about these guys. I just am asking that everyone keep their eyes open and if they see anything that might help us find them to please contact the sheriff's office."

Anyone having any information about the men are asked to contact the Carbon County Sheriff's department at 435 636-3251 or after hours or over the weekend at 435 637-0890.

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