According to source, On July 3, 1938, the Beilhartz family, took advantage of the Independence Day weekend to go camping in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Their four-year-old son, Alfred Edwin Beilhartz, was to vanish that day and to this day no sign has turned up. The Beilhartz family, as well as some family friends, set up camp roughly a quarter mile west of the Fall River Lodge. It was located just south of the west exit of the current Lawn Lake Trailhead parking lot. The camping party was located near where the Roaring and Fall Rivers met, just below Horseshoe Falls. The family woke bright and early that morning, William Beilhartz, Alfred’s father, decided to walk to the nearby stream to wash up and Alfred came along. Oran Bronson and Walter Hansen, friends of the Beilhartz family, had also set out to freshen up roughly 500 feet upstream from Alfred and William. William and Alfred finished their wash before Oran and Walter, and William headed back to camp. Alfred walked upstream to follow Oran and Walter once they were finished. Once Oran and Walter returned to camp, the group noticed Alfred was not with them. He had gone missing between the time William headed back to camp and when Oran and Walter returned. The campers began searching for Alfred immediately. There were over a dozen individuals at the campsite and were convinced that they would find him quickly He couldn’t have gotten far in such a short amount of time. Plus, it would be difficult for Alfred to not hear over a dozen people shouting his name and follow their voices back to safety. But, after scouring the area and not finding Alfred, the family became very anxious as to Alfred’s whereabouts. When they had no luck they decided to call in the park service for assistance. The Beilhartz family contacted ranger Moomaw at the Fall River Ranger Station. Ranger Moomaw immediately contacted the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), a work relief program created as part of Roosevelt’s New deal, to help the search effort. Within 45 minutes over 100 CCC members had arrived to begin searching. On Monday, July 4, 1938, Independence Day, CCC and other volunteers were still combing the area for any sign of Alfred and Bloodhounds from the Colorado State Prison were brought into the park to help aid the search. But they were unable to find Alfred’s scent. The rangers were operating under the assumption that Alfred may have fallen into the nearby Roaring River and drowned, so they decided to dam and divert the river the next day on July 5. The search party built a dam with sandbags, rocks, and logs and used grappling hooks and pikes to search the riverbed. Despite their efforts, nothing was found in the diverted riverbed, so they erected a wire net near the Fall River in the hopes of “catching” any evidence. When this returned no results, they gave up searching the river. His parents told the rangers that they were certain that he must have been abducted. They knew that their son wouldn't just leave his family and they were sceptical that he had just fallen into the water. By Wednesday, July 6, 1938, the search of the river had ended, leaving searchers frustrated and confused. They continued to search the land, and by Thursday, 200 searchers told news reporters they were convinced he had never drowned and had either gotten lost in the forest or was kidnapped. The searchers were convinced that if the boy had fallen into the Roaring River his body could not have passed all five of the beaver dams and reached the Fall River. Even if it had, they said, it could not have passed a wire net set up near the fall river by workers for the public service company of Colorado. Rangers called in some sniffer dogs from the nearby Colorado State Penitentiary. A scent was detected, but the hounds came to a halt near the river. Another set of dogs hit on a scent some way higher in elevation from the camp but led nowhere.
4 years old
Foul Play Suspected: Unknown / Undisclosed
Suspected Suicide: No
Reported missing on July 3, 1938 - 30343 days, 20 hours, 35 minutes ago
This case file was posted on
Mar 17, 2021 at 12:37
This case file was last modified on
Apr 17, 2021 at 23:23
This case file has been assigned the Missing Persons ID 989
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