Shelby Campbell has been missing for nearly one month.
On the morning of Sept. 8, the day of a storm with hurricane-force winds, Campbell drove up to the North Ogden Divide Trailhead parking lot to go on a hike. She never came home.
The Weber County Sheriff’s Department and Weber County Search and Rescue crews have searched for Campbell but scaled back their efforts on Sept. 11. Police have ruled out foul play in the disappearance.
Since Campbell’s disappearance, hundreds of hikers have volunteered time to search for her in the terrain surrounding the parking lot. Many of them have organized on a Facebook page, Help Bring Shelby Home. Since its creation, the page has amassed more than 5,700 members.
“Evidence Shelby left behind gives us reason to believe she made plans to go up there but potentially did not have plans to return,” read a post by Campbell’s boyfriend, Andre Erebia, pinned to the top of the page.
Posts on the group often detail areas searched and discoveries made by hikers, and a link connects members to a website that tracks areas that have been searched.
“I will be up there tomorrow at 10 a.m.,” said Dustin Jasmer in a post made to the page on Facebook on Friday.
He added, “I could use anyone’s help that is willing to go off trail in a rugged area. Advanced hikers only please.”
On Saturday morning, five strangers met in the North Ogden Divide Trailhead parking lot, gathering at the back of Jasmer’s Chevy Avalanche.
Joining the group was Jasmer’s step brother — Andrew Crandall of North Salt Lake, Adrian Adams of Ogden, Jeremy Drummond of West Jordan and Tony Gardner of North Ogden. The group was armed with three guns, bear spray and pepper spray. Jasmer had seen evidence of cougars living in the area on his previous trip up the mountain and told searchers to come prepared.
This was Jasmer’s third time searching the area, and Gardner’s fourth. Everyone else was a first-timer.
“Why did you decide to come out?” Crandall asked Adams.
“I hike a lot and so this hit close to home,” Adams replied.
After a few last minute bathroom trips and verifying that everyone had enough water, the search party started up the South Skyline Trail toward Lewis Peak.
“Let’s go shake down some mountain lions,” Jasmer said.
The five traveled in a line along the trail, stopping occasionally for water. Gardner turned on GPS location sharing with his wife, and Jasmer, who had forgotten, did the same for his girlfriend.
Jasmer said his 6-year-old daughter has been nervous every time he has left to search for Campbell.
“I had to tell her, ‘If you were missing, I’d raise hell on Earth to bring you back,’” Jasmer said. “You know what her response was? ‘Daddy, you’re not the devil.’”
As the group climbed the trail, they ran into two other searchers who were both out looking for the third time. Both recognized Jasmer from his posts on the Facebook group. They had not found anything but wished the other five hikers luck on their attempt.
After about 1½ miles, Jasmer paused and pointed to an outcrop on a wooded face of the mountain that had not yet been searched. He told the others that was the area he was hoping to check.
“I was thinking once we get into the forest, we would kind of spread out,” Jasmer said.
Everyone left the trail and descended into the woods, splitting into three groups.
“I’ve been in a suicidal place before,” Jasmer said, explaining his reasoning for searching near the rock, which could serve as a lookout. “I would have wanted to see the sunset for one last time. I’d be on that rock right there watching the sunset for one last time.”
Jasmer owns a mental health clinic in Layton, which he said is a realization of his dream to use his experience struggling with mental health to help others.
Just before losing cell service, he stopped to FaceTime his daughter in an attempt to assuage her worries.
Bringing Crandall along, Jasmer cut toward the rock face, while Adams and Drummond hung low, sweeping the brush. Gardner searched the upper parts of the mountain.
“As a mom, I would want to know for sure,” Adams said. “Then at least you can quit searching. I can’t even imagine — you’re just waiting for that phone call.”
Over five hours after meeting, the group reunited in the parking lot, sharing pictures of items they found and showing wounds they collected from climbing rock and traversing thick brush.
Jasmer had taken a photo of a bullet casing he spotted, but said he had no idea if it had anything to do with Campbell.
“I smelled something, but other people have searched that area, so what does that mean?” he said.
He shared a pin of the location with Adams, who said she planned to return and search that area more the next day. Jasmer said he intended to go back sometime later that week. Other hikers continue to make plans to search the area near Lewis Peak on Facebook.
“At this time all evidence has been looked at and all signs point to her being on that mountain,” says the description of the Help Bring Shelby Home Facebook page. “We will continue to search for her and won’t stop till she is found. We love you Shelbs, and we are coming for you.”