Air search launched for missing man

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Search: LANL opens air space to allow authorities to scour area from the sky

By Carol A. Clark

A search helicopter was granted clearance to fly in the air space above Los Alamos National Laboratory Wednesday in search of a retired laboratory engineer. Michael Cannon, 66, of White Rock was last seen June 25 near Rover Park.


“The National Guard provided a Blackhawk Helicopter, two pilots, including former LAPD officer Daniel Purcell, and two spotter/medics for the search,” said Los Alamos Police Capt. Randy Foster. Foster and LAPD Det. Ron Binion headed the search.

“We scanned the area from the Blackhawk above the Rio Grande Canyon rim down to the river, all around Overlook and we surveyed some of the steeper canyons including Frijoles and Ancho looking for Mr. Cannon,” Foster said.

Late afternoon lightning brought the search to a close for the day, Foster said, adding that his officers will continue looking for Cannon.

Because of all the planes and helicopters involved in battling the Las Conchas, the U.S. Forest Service has restricted air space above Los Alamos but granted the Blackhawk clearance to conduct the search for Cannon.

“Our officers also conducted ground and water searches yesterday in the Rio Grande Canyon area in an effort to locate Mr. Cannon,” LAPD Chief Wayne Torpy said. “We continue to be concerned and are trying everything in our power to find him.”

Cannon’s wife discovered him missing after she awoke from a mid-day nap, according to son Matt Cannon. His cell phone and wallet are at his home so he has no identification.

Family and friends have searched White Rock and the cliffs using search dogs from private citizens. They are offering a reward for any information regarding the location of Cannon’s bike, which they said they are not interested in recovering – they just want a starting location to continue their search.

Cannon was last seen wearing blue jeans, a button-down shirt and a red helmet and carrying a blue backpack with a polka dot water bottle. His family said that they believe he might have his gun with him.

Cannon was riding an old silver female-style Schwinn. He often biked to various trailheads around town and is an avid hiker, according to his family. His car was found at Rover Park.
Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the Los Alamos Police Department at 662-8222.

Vital statistics at time of disappearance

• Missing: June 25 from White Rock
• Classification: Endangered Missing
• Date Of Birth: Feb. 2, 1945
• Age: 66
• Height: 5’9”
• Weight: 155 lbs.
• Hair Color: Balding/White
• Eye Color: Hazel
• Race: White
• Gender: Male
• Distinguishing Characteristics: Glasses, fair skinned.
• Medical Conditions: Depression
• Clothing: Jeans, button down collared shirt, hiking boots.
• Jewelry: Yellow gold wedding band.

Source: North American Missing Persons Network