Rudi Moder

  • Remains Found - Pending ID
  • Remains Found - Pending ID

About Rudi Moder's case

Primary Source: Denver Post

According to Denver Post,

Remains found in Rocky Mountain National Park last year are believed to be those of a man from Fort Collins who went missing in the park almost 40 years ago. On February 13, 1983, Rudi Moder, a West German living in Fort Collins described as an experienced winter mountaineer, left the Zimmerman Lake Trailhead on Colo. 17 near Cameron Pass for a two-to-three-night ski mountaineering trip over Thunder Pass and into Rocky Mountain National Park.

Moder, 27, was reported overdue by his roommate six days later, but early search and investigation efforts were limited by heavy snowfall. A food cache and snow cave with Moder’s sleeping bag and other gear and items were found at the mouth of Box Canyon, but no other signs of Moder were found by the time the initial search was halted later in the month.

In August 2020, skeletal remains were discovered by a hiker in the Skeleton Gulch area near avalanche debris, according to a release. Rangers conducted an initial investigation at the scene but could not complete the investigation due to closures and shifting priorities caused by the Cameron Peak Fire and then the East Troublesome Fire.

Due to snow, park rangers were not able to return until the summer, when they found skis, poles and boots, along with remains of personal items believed to belong to Moder. The Grand County Coroner’s office attempted to confirm identification through dental records, but the results were inconclusive.

Officials have worked extensively with the German government for repatriation, family notification and dental record analysis. “In the decades following Moder’s disappearance, search efforts continued periodically by Rocky Mountain National Park staff and Larimer County Search and Rescue Teams,” Rocky Mountain National Park officials said in a statement.

“The discovery and recovery of Rudi Moder’s remains closes out a nearly four decade long cold case at Rocky Mountain National Park.”

Personal Characteristics

Age / Ethnicity

Gender / Hair / Eyes

Distinguishing Marks

Not Available

Profession / Education

Not Available

Height / Weight

Not Available


Not Available


Investigative Details

  • Foul Play Suspected: Unknown / Undisclosed
  • Suicide Suspected: Unknown / Undisclosed
  • Cause of Death: Undetermined / Unreleased

Significant Dates

  • Reported Missing: Sunday, February 13, 1983 (41 years ago)
  • Date Found: Saturday, August 15, 2020 (4 years ago)


Administrative Details

Monday, January 8, 2024 (5 months ago)

Missing NPF Public Identification Number (MPID) 10446

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