Authorities searching for stolen dino print come up empty

- MOAB, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) -- State and federal officials scoured the bottom of the Colorado River on Saturday in search of a stolen dinosaur footprint. But while investigators believe they have a suspect, the fossilized print had not turned up as of Sunday.

A dive team from the Utah Department of Public Safety and the Grand County Sheriff's Office began searching the Colorado River near the Dewey Bridge on State Road 128 on Saturday, where authorities believe the fossil had been dumped.

The footprint was stolen sometime around Feb. 17 from the area of Hell's Revenge Trail in the Sand Flats Recreation Area in Moab. The dinosaur track dates back to the Jurassic period and is estimated to be 190 million years old.

Investigators from the Bureau of Land Management and the Grand County Sheriff's Office announced that they have identified a suspect, but the suspect's name was not released Sunday.

U.S. Attorney's Office Spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch confirmed Sunday that the dive team was unsuccessful in retrieving the dinosaur track Saturday and that authorities would not resume the search on Sunday.

"When fossil resources like dinosaur tracks are damaged, vandalized or stolen, we all lose something priceless," said BLM paleontologist Rebecca Hunt-Foster in a statement. "These fossils belong to all Americans. When fossils like these are taken, we lose irreplaceable scientific and educational opportunities to explore some of the natural history that makes Utah's public lands so special."

While authorities have identified a suspect, they continue to pursue leads and are offering a reward for any information leading to the identification of anyone involved in the theft. Anyone with information is urged to contact BLM Law Enforcement at 801-539-4082.

More Stories

Latest News

Video Center