Rex L. Maughan knocked on the window of a cabin at Camp Zarahemla in Morgan County at 6 a.m. Thursday, as he promised the night before, to wake the sleeping campers within. He waved; the campers, including one of his daughters, waved back.
Maughan, already dressed and ready to go, got into his small pickup truck to return to West Bountiful and put in a day's work as custodian at an LDS stake center. He drove off, planning to return Thursday afternoon with the rest of his family for the remainder of the weekend church campout.Neither Maughan nor his truck has been seen since - despite massive air and ground searches through Morgan, Davis, and adjacent counties. The West Bountiful Police Department is cooperating with the sheriff's office in Morgan County, where the search is centered.
"We just keep hoping," said his wife, Shirlene, Tuesday morning. "Everyone wants to search and help, but we don't know where to start. The truck is the key. Until we find it, we don't know where to start."
Maughan, 56, is retired from Mountain Bell and, in addition to working as custodian at the stake center in West Bountiful, is bishop of the West Bountiful 2nd Ward.
Although attending the overnight youth campout was part of his church responsibility, his wife said it was also a pleasure for him. An avid outdoorsman and fisherman, Maughan enjoys time in the mountains.
"It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that, with his flexible work schedule, he could have stopped somewhere on the way back, pulled off to hike a little or take a little side trip to spend some time in the mountains," she said.
Although an avid fisherman, she said her husband left his fishing gear home, but the pickup truck was stocked with camping gear in anticipation of returning to the camp Thursday evening, she said.
The ground and air searches first concentrated along the route Maughan would have taken home, through Morgan County and down Weber Canyon, checking to see if the truck had gone off the road and was perhaps not visible in the rugged, mountainous terrain.
The searchers found nothing Friday and Saturday and the search was expanded over the weekend to adjacent Weber, Wasatch, and Summit counties, again with no clues.
"Our friends and neighbors have been very supportive," said Shirlene Maughan. "Some have gone out individually, and our two boys (the Maughans have six children, four married and two at home) have also gone out, looking in every conceivable place.
"They're organized and waiting, but until the truck is found we don't know where to start looking. Until we hear from the police that the truck has been spotted, everyone is just waiting," she said.
The truck is a 1985 Toyota pickup, beige with a tan stripe, with a white, industrial-style, windowless camper shell. It bears Utah license plates 0712 AW. Shirlene Maughan said her husband had probably less than $20 cash on him and only one credit card, which apparently has not been used yet.
He was wearing a gray and white striped shirt, dark blue pants, and white tennis shoes when he left the campsite. Maughan is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes.