Missing for Three Years, Remains of Robin Putnam of Rico, CO Found
Contact: San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters 970-729-2025, Reserve PIO Susan Lilly 970-369-8622
August 31, 2015-- (Telluride, CO) – A three-year missing persons case of a then 25 yr-old Rico man has been solved with the findings of his remains in Elko County, Nevada. Robin Andrew Putnam has been confirmed dead based on dental records.
Putnam was traveling on July 7th, 2012 on an Amtrak train from Emeryville, California to Grand Junction, Colorado where his parents, Doug and Cindy of Rico, CO were waiting to pick him up upon arrival on the morning of July 8th. When the train made a scheduled stop in Salt Lake City, Utah at 3:00am, Putnam got off the train, leaving his laptop and other belongings, but he never returned to the train and was never to be seen or heard from again.
The Salt Lake City Police Department, Amtrak Police and the Putnam family initiated a massive search with no results.
The Putnams continued their exhaustive search using social media and were featured on a Discovery Channel television program, “Last Seen Alive,” which included details of the Putnams five-day search for their son in New York City.
Robin Putnam’s search was assisted by many other agencies in several states. San Miguel County Sheriff’s Deputies and Dolores County Sheriff Jerry Martin continued their extensive investigation and remained in contact with the family.
A national “Missing Person’s” case was initiated with “NamUs” (National Missing and Unidentified Persons Search), which stored Putnam’s DNA, dental records, photos and case information on file.
On the morning of Tuesday, August 25th, 2015, Union Pacific Railroad employees were working on the train tracks when they noticed human remains close to the westbound tracks about 15 miles south of the Town of Wells by the Tobar Ghost Town in the Nevada desert. Wells is approximately 181 miles from Salt Lake City.
Elko County Sheriff’s Deputies responded, documented the scene, and gathered the remains. Officials reported a debit card and a set of keys with Robin’s name on them. An internet search led investigators to NamU and a lab search made a positive identification with a dental match on Friday, August 28th, 2015.
San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters was contacted by Elko County Sheriff’s Office to confirm the positive identification of Robin Putnam. He and Dolores County Sheriff Jerry Martin then met with Cindy and Doug Putnam at their home in Rico to share the findings.
The investigation continues as to details related to Putnam’s death including the cause and time of his death. Elko County authorities reported to the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office that Robin may have fallen from the train.
Sheriff Bill Masters said, “This has been a long and painful struggle for the Putnams who never gave up, we all never gave up trying to find Robin.”
Robin Putnam was born on April 4, 1987 in St. Louis, MS and grew up in Rico, CO. He graduated from Telluride High School in 2005 and had completed his junior year at California College of the Arts in Oakland.
Friends and family will always remember Robin as a talented artist who enjoyed drawing, painting, writing and researching topics related to fine arts, animation, science, philosophy and spirituality.
The Putnam family will hold a memorial service for their son Robin on Friday, September 18th, 2015 at 11 AM at the top of the gondola in Telluride, with a reception at the Alpine Chapel afterwards. In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration of making a donation to Robin’s favorite charitable organization—Free The Children.
Robin is survived by his parents, Douglas Edward Putnam and Cynthia “Cindy” Lucille Putnam, and extended family.
The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980.