Recovery efforts completed for Brian Perri

Brian Perri Image source:
Brian Perri Image source:

Brian Perri’s body was recovered by helicopter from Rocky Mountain National Park. His body was transferred to the Boulder County Coroner’s Office. Boulder County Coroner’s office will not release positive identification until completion of an autopsy. However, it is believed that the body is that of Brian Perri, 38, of Fort Collins, Colorado.

On Saturday afternoon, July 28, 2018, a ranger was responding to a SPOT device activation from a visitor recreating in the area. While looking for the source of the SPOT activation, the ranger came upon Perri’s body.

Perri was located southwest (not northwest which was originally listed in a previous news release) of the summit of Mount Meeker in steep terrain. Mount Meeker (13,911 feet) is the second highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. Perri took an approximate 25 to 40-foot tumbling fall and appears to have died instantly. He was located downhill and southwest of the Mount Meeker summit photo that he texted to a friend on June 30. He was found above tree line at the base of a steep, nearly vertical drop off, consisting of large boulders, loose rock, and talus scree slope.

Searchers, including ground teams, a dog team and helicopter aerial operations were in the vicinity of where Perri’s body was located. Unfortunately, the steep terrain, angle, sheer size of the rocks and boulders as well as the coloring of his tan and green clothing made it extremely difficult to see him.

Late Thursday, July 5, 2018, park rangers were notified by Fort Collins Police that Brian Joseph Perri, 38, of Fort Collins, Colorado, had been reported as missing. Perri was last known in the Mount Meeker area of Rocky Mountain National Park. On June 30, Perri texted a friend a photograph of himself from the summit of Mount Meeker. After rangers were notified of the missing man on July 5, six days after he was expected back, they located Perri’s car in the parking lot at the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead. Perri was day hiking and was expected out on Saturday, June 30.

Extensive search efforts began the evening of Thursday, July 5, and encompassed significant sections of 22.5 square miles above tree line as well as forested areas. The majority of the search area was in rugged and remote terrain with loose rock, steep ridges, and exposed cliffs, on ridge lines and couloirs. The area was searched by helicopters, ground searchers, dog teams, and UAS reconnaissance. Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue members has been Larimer County Search and Rescue members and dog teams, Rocky Mountain Rescue based in Boulder County, Fort Collins Police, Northern Colorado Helitack, Colorado State University Police Department, Front Range Rescue Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States(SARDUS) and Search and Rescue Dogs of Colorado (SARDOC), Flight For Life Air Ambulance and Colorado Search and Rescue Board members.

Boulder County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause and date of death.

The visitor who activated the SPOT device was located Saturday evening, July 28, by other rangers in the Keplinger Couloir area with a lower leg injury. Rangers remained with the man overnight. On Sunday morning, July 29, the hiker was taken by Flight For Life Air Ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center where he was treated and released that morning.