Dozens search Idaho mountains for missing Montana college student

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 26, 2014 2:35 PM

By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON Idaho (Reuters) - Dozens of sheriffs deputies and volunteers combed the rugged canyon lands and whitewater rivers of central Idaho on Tuesday searching for a Montana college student who vanished one week ago while driving to Montana from Idaho.

Lucius Robbi, 21, of Orleans, California, has not been seen or heard from since last Tuesday, when he set off for the University of Montana campus in Missoula from Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, where he had worked as a guide for a second summer at a rafting company that offers trips on the Payette River.

  Robbi told fellow workers at Cascade Raft and Kayak he intended to camp Tuesday evening and be on hand the following day for orientation at the university, said Anne Long, office manager at the rafting company.

  Surveillance video from a gas station in southwest Idaho on Tuesday showed what appeared to be his 1997 green Subaru Legacy with California plates and two orange kayaks strapped to the hood, she said.

“It’s very strange,” Long said of the disappearance.

  Robbi’s parents arrived in Idaho over the weekend and were among the dozens of volunteer and law enforcement searchers who have fanned out along a route toward Montana that could have taken Robbi through the backcountry of central Idaho near the remote town of Stanley, she said.

  The mountainous area borders the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and is known for whitewater rapids, rock slides and flash flooding. It has intermittent cellphone service.

  Crews are using a Facebook page called “Finding Lucius” to share information and coordinate the search staged out of Stanley. A call for donations to underwrite search efforts has gathered more than $7,000 on the crowdfunding website “gofundme.”

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman in Salmon, Idaho; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Mohammad Zargham)