Search for Park Ranger Missing Since 1980 Continues
At 2 PM on January 13, 1980, Paul Fugate, the only member of the permanent staff at Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona on duty that day, walked out of his office to check out a nature trail. He left instructions with the only other person, a seasonal employee, that if he wasn’t back before 4:30 to begin to shut down without him. Fugate appeared to walk down toward the Monument entrance and was never seen again. No trace of the ranger was ever found despite extensive searches by the National Park Service, The Cochise County Sheriff’s Department, The Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, The Southern Arizona Search and Rescue Association, Customs, The Border Patrol and Fugate’s many friends. All that was missing from Fugate’s home were the clothes he was wearing and his National Park Service keys. Despite some evidence of a crime having been committed nothing has ever been uncovered to explain Fugate’s disappearance. He left behind a wife, Dody, a mother Mrs. Braxton Fugate, two brothers, three sisters, many friends with a vast hole in their lives.
The Cochise County Sheriff's Department has not given up on trying to find the answer to Paul Fugate's disappearance. On August 25, 2010 the Sheriff's Department searched several old wells and other sites for possible bodily remains. They are also asking for any information that may have come out in the public domain. Anyone with information is urged to call (520) 432-9500.
Paul Fugate not long before his disappearance in 1980