River searches continue for 2 missing swimmers in separate incidents near Moab, Mexican Hat

Published: Tuesday, July 19 2011 6:28 p.m. MDT

MEXICAN HAT, San Juan County — Officials continued searching a third day for a Monument Valley, Utah, man who disappeared on Sunday while swimming with friends in the San Juan River near Mexican Hat.

As of Tuesday evening, searchers report turning up empty handed.

Monte Nelson, 36, fell and hit his head on a rock, and slipped into the river, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office reported Sunday. Witnesses never saw Nelson come out of river after the accident. Emergency responders combed the riverbank Sunday, but failed to find the missing man.    

Searchers from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office and the National Park Service continued their efforts to locate Nelson throughout Monday and Tuesday, still with no success.

In the Mexican Hat incident, the victim was not wearing a life jacket, and alcohol was involved, according to the sheriff's office.

In another incident near Moab, the search continued Tuesday without success for a 20-year-old Orem woman who was swept downstream Friday while swimming in the Colorado River. The search for Teri Elizabeth Jackson was in its fifth day Tuesday, but search and rescue crews there have yet to find the woman who yelled and signaled to friends for help as she was swept down the river.

Ladd Brubaker

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