Ravalli County Sheriff's Office asks for help finding man last seen at Little Trapper Peak overlook

HAMILTON - The Ravalli County Sheriff's Office brought in search dogs and a helicopter over the weekend in an effort to locate a Wyoming man reported missing in the Little Trapper Peak area.

Barry Ford, 44, was last seen at the Little Trapper Peak overlook on the West Fork of the Bitterroot drainage about three weeks ago.

His camp, consisting of a van and storage-type trailer, was located in the area near the overlook, said Ravalli County Undersheriff Perry Johnson.

"He's apparently a back-to-nature kind of fellow," Johnson said. "He'd been on a trek and had traveled through Oregon and California. He had no place to be and no reason to be on time."

His family contacted the sheriff's office after they didn't hear from him, Johnson said.

Ford's family said he had two motorcycles and a large black Lab. All of those were also missing.

The Little Trapper Creek area is north of the Trapper Creek Job Corps facility.

Johnson said a number of different dog teams were dispatched to the scene in an effort to track Ford's movements from the camp. The dogs were trained to pick up scent of cadavers or trace evidence, like blood.

"The dogs didn't pick up anything at or around the camp," Johnson said.

A Life Flight helicopter from Missoula also performed two searches of the area.

"We wanted the helicopter to take a look just in case he was hurt and needed to signal for help," Johnson said.

Ford is a white male, 5 feet 11 inches tall, about 170 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He frequently wears a knit cap, leather hat or handkerchief on his head.

Anyone with information about Ford is asked to contact the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office at 375-4060 or sheriff@ravallicounty.mt.gov.

Ravalli Republic editor Perry Backus can be reached at 363-3300 or pbackus@ravallirepublic.com.

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