Unsolved Mysteries and Scary Stuff: Jaryd Atadero

Jaryd Atadero

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In October of 1999 Jaryd Atadero was merely 3 years of age when his father Allyn took him along to a lodge the Atadero’s ran in Podure Canyon, Colorado. The lodge was amidst the wilderness and mountains of the area, falling just north of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Allyn was joined by a large gathering of his friends from his Christian church. He knew and trusted every person who partook in this recreational time together. Ten adult members of the group, along with several children, decided that they were going to go on a vigorous hike into the lush hinterland. The region that they were to cover was listed as being moderate to strenuous, with a climb that would see the hikers net around a thousand foot elevation from where they set off.  At that point, Allyn made the fateful decision to stay behind to take a nap. He did however allow his son Jaryd to tag along with the others.

Allyn’s slumber ended abruptly several hours later when one of his friends awoke him to alert Allyn that, “Jaryd is fine, we just can’t find him.” Allyn was informed that the adults had split into two groups once the nature hike began, with the children running back and forth from one group to another. It was during one of these sprints that Jaryd vanished. The local authorities were notified and a five-day search commenced. The hunt for the youngster was hampered by a search helicopter crashing, and a fresh snowfall that ruined any potential tracks that might bring the rescuers to the boy. Prior to that, a set of prints had been discovered that appeared to possibly be made by a child crawling up a hill. They were eventually dismissed as being from a bear walking over it’s own tracks. Two fisherman told police that a small boy approached them from out of the woods. He inquired if the forest had any bears in it. Once the fisherman confirmed that the woods did, the boy scattered back into the greenery.

After five days of searching, the belief was that Jaryd had to be dead, one way or another. His father held out hope nonetheless. Some believed that Jaryd fell victim to a mountain lion, and a contingency plan was put in place to tranquilize any big cat that might be seen.  After the beast was downed, a radio collar would be placed on it in hopes that Jaryd’s remains might be found back in the cat’s den. Ultimately the search ended with no resolution.

Three and a half years later, in June of 2003, hikers spotted tattered clothing that seemed to be child’s size. They alerted authorities to the location of the clothes. The Atadero family was notified and ultimately Allyn identified the clothes as his son’s. Hairs were found on the clothing that did not match Jaryd. Later tests showed they were also not that of a mountain lion. Ten days later, pieces of a skull cap and a tooth were located. Soon after that Jaryd’s shoes were found in an odd location. They are hard to see in this picture, but they are sitting on the boulders near the middle of this image.

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Jaryd’s father was bothered by the fact that the shoes did not look like they had been exposed to the elements for the past four years as they still maintained their bright colors. This only added to other concerns he already had in his brain. Allyn was also bothered by the fact that the shoes bore no scuff marks that would indicate that they had been dragged through the rocks and dirt, and the shoes had no mold or water marks despite being in harsh weather for several years. Jaryd also made a habit of never tying his shoes, so the fact that both shoes remained together and not lost during what was thought to be an animal attack didn’t sit right with Mr. Atadero.

The fact that the Jaryd’s remains and his clothing were found on a steep, rocky incline made Allyn wonder how his son could have possibly made his way up such a obstacle, considering the searchers had a great deal of trouble themselves while trying to get to the location. Mr. Atadero was also bothered by the fact that his son’s pants were pecked at from birds using the fibers for nesting, but held no rips or marks that would suggest a mountain lion attacked his child. The pants were also found inside out, as if someone had pulled them off. Jaryd’s sweatshirt was also located, but never his actual shirt.

Allyn furthered argued that the DNA test on the tooth that had been found was contaminated and that the tooth might not even belong to his son, but perhaps to another body that may have been placed with his son’s by some unknown killer.

These concerns were compounded by several issues Allyn still couldn’t shake about the initial investigation. He claims that when his brother and other family members arrived to try and help find their missing loved one that the sheriff officials gruffly told them that they were not to go where Jaryd was last seen. When the family pushed the issue, the officials threatened them with arrest if they stepped on the trail without permission. Another sheriff officer told Allyn that his son probably fell in the river and was swept away. Mr. Atadero did not appreciate that brutally direct forecast.

Another concern revolved around the search and rescue team that brought in dogs to try and find Jaryd’s scent. After several failed attempts, Mr. Atadero discovered that instead of a piece of his son’s clothing being used as a base scent, Allyn’s own shorts were somehow utilized as such. When Mr. Atadero raised a heated squabble over this unbelievable oversight, he was bluntly and coldly told by the search leader that “We can call off the search right now.”

One last note to add is that a Park Ranger Craig Weston, who worked eight hours away from where Jaryd disappeared, claims that a boy matching Atadero’s description was on a guided tour that he lead. The boy repeatedly held the ranger’s hand during the tour, which Weston felt was odd behavior. Weston filed a report, including a description of the man who the child was with, but the FBI declined to investigate this possible lead.  I personally put minimal stock in this “incident” having anything to do with Jaryd’s case.

How did a three-year-old manage to find his way atop a dangerous cliff? Why did the condition of his shoes and clothing not match what is believed to have happened to him? Is his father over reaching with theories to help mask the grief or are the local authorities covering up a bigger crime?

“What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of Splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind”

Pregnancy Via Attempted Murder

This story doesn’t quite match my usual criteria, but it’s such a wild case that I feel compelled to share it. ABC News reported that in 1988 the African nation of Lesotho was home to one of the most unusual conception stories ever. Local doctors there were presented with a 15-year-old girl who was very evidently in labor. While prepping her, doctors were baffled to see that she suffered from the birth defect called Mullerian agenesis – or in layman’s terms, she didn’t have a vagina. With only a small dimple where her woman parts should be, the doctors had no choice but to deliver the baby via a c-section. The girl was deeply confused by the fact that she was somehow with child.

A little research by the medical staff showed that the same girl had come to them 278 days earlier with a stab wound in her belly. She had been administering oral sex to her boyfriend when her old flame caught her in the act. A knife was produced and she was wounded. From there doctors theorize that the sperm she ingested had somehow found it’s way into her reproductive system thanks to her cuts creating an unnatural pathway.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back with more mysteries soon!  
If you enjoyed this, you can catch up with the whole series here.

I have many other cases I’ve done articles for including looks at the Sodder Children’s disappearance, John Wayne Gacy’s undiscovered burial sites, the East Area Rapist, Gen. MacArthur’s “missing” son, Tina Resch’s poltergeist and many other stories of crime and the paranormal. All those can be found at the link above.

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Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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