Active search for missing Shoshone County man suspended

The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office has suspended the active ground and air search for Lionel Harding-Thomas, 69, who was reported missing Saturday.

Harding-Thomas was last seen April 27 at about 11 p.m., according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Capt. Jeremy Groves said search and rescue volunteers, members of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, a Life Flight helicopter, drones from the Idaho Department of Lands and private drones and helicopters were deployed to the search area near the Elizabeth Park Trailhead on Saturday and Sunday. Two K-9 teams assisted in the search efforts Sunday and one K-9 team searched the area Saturday.

Groves said rising river waters made the search more difficult for crews — where people couldn’t go, drones and helicopters went.

Groves said the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office will send patrols to the search area during daylight hours.

“We’ll continue to do that until we see that the water levels start to decrease, which could be a few weeks,” Groves said.

Harding-Thomas suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, according to the sheriff’s office. For that reason, Groves didn’t think he could get far.

“Seeing that he has to have the use of a motorized scooter or the use of a cane or a walker, which were all there, we knew that he wouldn’t have been able to go too awful far especially with some of the terrain being steep,” Groves said.

If you have any information as to where Harding-Thomas may be, call the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 556-1114.