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Search for Answers: Two Women Vanish From Colorado Resort Area Just Weeks Apart

two women vanish colorado resort area weeks apartjpg
Source: Grand County Sheriff's Office

Two women have disappeared just weeks apart from each other in a popular resort area in Colorado.

Aug. 24 2023, Published 3:00 p.m. ET

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Two women have disappeared just weeks apart from each other in a popular resort area in Colorado, RadarOnline.com can report.

According to local authorities, Melissa Whitsitt – a 34-year-old employee at a resort in Winter Park – was reported missing on August 13 after she failed to show up for work.

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two women vanish colorado resort area weeks apart jpg
Source: Grand County Sheriff's Office

Melissa Whitsitt – a 34-year-old employee at a resort in Winter Park – was reported missing on August 13 after she failed to show up for work.

She was last seen earlier that day on Woodspur Lane in Winter Park, and the police revealed in a statement that her phone was used by an unknown male to make several calls from the Denver area. The phone has since been turned off.

Additionally, her debit card has not been used since she disappeared.

Whitsitt's parents, who traveled to Colorado from Tennessee following their daughter’s disappearance, have joined the search efforts.

Her mother, Cindy Whitsitt, described the situation as "like a needle in a haystack" when speaking with CBS News.

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two women vanish colorado resort area weeks apart jpg
Source: MEGA

Police revealed that Whitsitt's phone was used by an unknown male to make several calls from the Denver area after she went missing.

Cindy emphasized Melissa's excitement about her newly obtained job at Winter Park Resort – a large ski operation that covers thousands of acres of land. Cindy also appealed to her daughter directly, urging her to reach out.

On the same day that Whitsitt was reported missing, authorities also announced that 55-year-old Svetlana Ustimenko had disappeared a few weeks earlier in the Deadhorse Trailhead area of the Arapaho National Forest in nearby Fraser.

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Ustimenko’s rental car, a 2022 white Nissan Sentra with Louisiana plates, was found at the Trailhead in late July. The vehicle was supposed to be returned on August 10.

The authorities have stated that these two cases are not related and appear to be isolated incidents with no threat to the community.

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two women vanish colorado resort area weeks apart jpg
Source: Grand County Sheriff's Office

On the same day that Whitsitt was reported missing, authorities also announced that 55-year-old Svetlana Ustimenko had gone missing.

The Grand County Sheriff's Office, which is responsible for the two investigations, declared that the search for Ustimenko was called off due to a lack of clues.

Despite the use of drones, dogs, and volunteers, no substantial evidence has been found.

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"Grand County Search and Rescue has a high degree of confidence that Svetlana is not within the primary search area,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Until additional clues or information surfaces, the search has been suspended by the Sheriff’s Office," the office continued. "Grand County Search and Rescue may conduct small scale operations in areas they may determine to be of higher probability."

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two women vanish colorado resort area weeks apart jpg
Source: MEGA

Investigators do not currently believe that the two cases are connected.

Ustimenko's case was tinged with sad circumstances when it was revealed the 34-year-old was recently diagnosed with an undisclosed terminal illness. According to officials, Ustimenko was struggling to cope with the illness and decided to travel to the Colorado mountains.

Despite the efforts to find both women, the searches were called off indefinitely due to the lack of leads in the respective cases.

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