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Teamwork: Meet the Searchers for Randy Bilyeu

Updated on September 26, 2016
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Linda (Kaywood) Bilyeu is a self-published author. Her books are available on Amazon. She writes from the heart—there is no other way.


In search of...

Volunteer searchers are dedicated individuals who go above and beyond to help find a missing person. They put their heart and soul into the search.

Some people search for self-gratification. Some search because they yearn for the challenge. Then there are those who search because they are enticed by the mystery. Some people search because they believe no man should be left behind. Also, some search because they want to be part of the team and to give resolution to the family.

No matter the reason, the important factor is the missing person has caring individuals in search of them.

Could you imagine being missing and no one is trying to find you? This happens and it is very sad.

Searchers give up their personal time to help others. They go without food and sleep to accomplish their mission. Some searchers place their lives at risk to complete the task, yet they proceed with caution.


Volunteer Searchers...

Searchers plan ahead by initiating a course of action. They leave no stone unturned.

As a team, they discuss strategies and create possible scenarios. They replay theories and try to place themselves into the minds of the missing person.

Searchers are often so dedicated to their goal of finding the missing person that even while asleep their minds continue to work.

They have vivid dreams of a possible location where they should search. Hey, everything and anything helps when you are unsure how to proceed.

Searchers do not request the recognition for doing what they do. Many prefer to go incognito. They just want to help. Whether they are ground pounders, drone pilots, mountain climbers or canoers they all have an expertise that they bring to the team.

The searchers who assist from afar when they view drone footage or scan photos are also an important part of the mission. Whether members of the team share knowledge of the area, logistics or transportation to a location...every single searcher is significant to the team in one way or another.

Volunteer searchers give of themselves and expect nothing in return.

Randy Bilyeu went missing on January 5th, 2016 in New Mexico. These are the volunteer searchers who are dedicated to finding him.

I had the pleasure of meeting these fine folks in April and since so many of you ask me about the amazing team of resilient searchers, I thought I would share a bit about each of them with you. If I should ever go missing, I would want this team to search for me.



Bob is the Search and Rescue Resource Officer for the state of NM. Bob is a rare breed as he truly enjoys and appreciates his position, not many people could say they love their job. I respect his authority and the fact that he doesn't bend the rules. He is constantly researching each of his missing person cases and when he is in search mode, y'all better move out of his way. I have spoken with families of other missing people in New Mexico and they share how helpful NMSAR has been for their family.

Bob takes each of his missing person cases personally. While people do take a wrong turn or make the wrong choice and get lost, he just wants them found, preferably alive. Missing people are his job security, but Bob doesn't view his SAR position as such, he just strives to reach his goal of no man or woman left behind.

His assistance with Team Randy from the start, has made our search a bit less chaotic, yet chaos continues to sneak up when least expected. His presence on this missing person case has been appreciated by the family and by the team.

As search manager, I appreciate the guidance, leadership techniques and the advice that Bob continues to offer.



Dave has been part of the team from the start. When we were in need of a drone pilot, Dave reached out, even if I did have to hunt him down in a way.

It was a perfect opportunity for him to help search for Randy and in the meanwhile he gets to play with his toy.

You know what they say about boys and their toys.

Dave the Drone Guy has taught me so much about drones that I considered purchasing one myself, but that thought has since passed. Instead I will just call on DTDG!

It's a commute for Dave to get to the search site, it could take up to a few hours from his home to the actual search site...has Dave ever complained? Heck no! He takes his position serious as head drone pilot for Team Randy.



John was one of the original searchers who tried to find Randy and 4 months later he still hasn't given up hope that we will find him. Might not be alive as we hope for, but we continue to hold on to the glimmer of hope.

John is a ground pounder, flew in the helicopter with Forrest Fenn, hiked down to the sandbanks and left no log unturned while doing so.He's very knowledgeable regarding the terrain and surrounding areas where Randy went missing.

John seeks out clues and offers advice to help with the search. He also has quite a sense of humor which helps to boost the moral of the team when needed.



I first spoke to Peter on Sunday, January 17th. Peter was the IC (Incident commander) for NMSAR, he was in charge of the many Search and Rescue volunteers who worked diligently for 3 days to find Randy, until the search was called off due to "Randy not being in search area."

When I spoke to Peter, which by the way caught me off guard when I heard his british accent, I just didn't expect that from New Mexico, nonetheless, he explained what had transpired so far with the search and he was baffled as to how Randy intended to exit the canyon.

Here we are four months later and we are all still baffled.

Peter and I often challenge each other with possible scenarios and theories...I have learned so much from him and I continue to learn.

Peter continues to assist in the search. His logistics and knowledge of the area is superb. If I should ever go missing in New Mexico, I hope Peter is the IC for my search.



Julie, our Map Guru. The woman who will stop at nothing to find Randy. Julie is the calming force amongst us, yet at the same time she could get us riled up with a possible clue, but in a positive way.

Julie is an avid hiker and her pups appreciate their mom taking them out for frequent walks in the wilderness. She often hikes alone and appreciates the solitude.

Julie has been part of the team from the start. She spotted Randy's car before we even knew Randy was missing. Julie was so close to the unfolding drama, yet she had no idea. We were all clueless as to what was about to transpire.

As someone who is directionally dysfunctional, I appreciate the expertise of our teams map guru.



Alex found the me via a Facebook hiking group. It was the team's good fortune that he was curious to find out more about Randy, who was missing in Santa Fe. Alex was very familiar with the area since he grew up there and he was more than happy to share his knowledge with the group.

Alex became an instant rock star, which took him by surprise, but not me. His positive outlook and witty persona was welcomed by the many of group members who were anxiously awaiting news on the progress of the search.

Alex has generously donated a lot of time to his search efforts. Whether he assisted in a drone search, took solo hikes through the troublesome terrain or helped to answer questions...Alex was present and accounted for.



Joshua is a gem to our team. He has been the sole support for river searches. It was a pleasure to meet this fearless man.

Josh our Canoe Guy has taught me about the dangers of the river. He has explained why having a partner tag along on his canoe trips is better overall for the search.

While he has no problem canoeing solo, he has said that having another set of eyes in the canoe will be more beneficial in finding Randy.

So we hope that one day, someone will volunteer. In the meanwhile Joshua continues to get the job done and does it so well. Whether via hiking or canoeing, we are lucky to have him on our team.

Best of the Best!

Chuck, our firefighter by day and most nights. He is a fearless mountain climber who has searched for Randy via nooks and crannies of the canyon walls. Along with Bob M., our other fearless friend. Bob reached out to me via email and once Bob and I were acquainted, Chuck also joined the team. Their boundaries exceed my expectations. Their bravery is to be commended and admired. They are also a duo of delight. Quick witted and entertaining they also bring along their knowledge of the area that they grew up in.

Rich, Ryan, James and Charles all offer the team their own individual expertise. Whether it's via transportation, escorting drone pilots to their locations, donating their time to the search, assisting in responding to questions and etc...they are all appreciated.

Brad, a SAR volunteer who helped search for Randy and also a drone pilot. Brad has helped search for Randy via SAR and on his own. He is our wittiest team member, always one to make us laugh and never shies away from sharing his opinion.

Liz is an avid hiker, provides transportation, helps to answer questions and is a blessing to the team. She was brought to the team via Alex.

Houston is another drone pilot who has helped with searching and also with uploading drone footage. He was brought to us by Chad, a drone pilot from Texas who came to NM to help us on one occasion, but continues to keep in contact.

Lastly, Susan from Kansas. Our eagle-eye. When a photo needs to be analyzed and scrutinized, Susan is on it! There's no one quite like Susan who could turn a frown upside down in a moments notice and she doesn't even require a fee!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chuck Bob M.James, Liz and RichRich and RyanCharlesBradHoustonSusanSearch Dogs NMSARC Mary Walker
Chuck | Source
Bob M.
Bob M. | Source
James, Liz and Rich
James, Liz and Rich | Source
Rich and Ryan
Rich and Ryan | Source
Charles | Source
Brad | Source
Houston | Source
Susan | Source
Search Dogs NMSARC Mary Walker
Search Dogs NMSARC Mary Walker | Source

In conclusion...

The list of searchers for Team Randy is endless. We have many members of our Facebook group, Search for Randy Bilyeu, who help search the photos and drone footage. We appreciate all the assistance we get.

The abundance of those people who care are a comfort not only to the family, but to other members of the team. We are in the search together. We are all dedicated to finding Randy and are all willing to donate our time in doing so. While it's understandable that our personal lives are top priority, even if you just have minutes to offer, that help is very much appreciated.

I would also like to give a huge shout-out to our media outlets...Susan, Robert S, Robert K, Thomas and Sean. I continue to keep them posted on what is relevant to the search for Randy and whatever they could offer us at the time, we are grateful for.

Thank you all for your dedication in searching for Randy. Always know that you are an inspiration to others and that this world is a better place because of humble and kind people such as yourselves.

No Man Left Behind

Update: Remains were found on July 13th. Officially notification was made on July 23rd. Randy had been found. The search for Randy was over. He was found by someone being at the right place at the right time.

The COE found Randy. The crew were in the area for their once a year visit to check the sediment of the river. They were doing their job. Thank you!

I could never thank the searchers of Team Randy enough. They stepped up to the plate and never gave up. They took teamwork to a level that I never imagined possible. No man left behind was our motto and we succeeded.

RIP, Randy.

Tim McGraw - Humble And Kind

Did you ever help search for a missing person?

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© 2016 Linda Bilyeu


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