Austin native still missing

Published 10:58 am Friday, May 27, 2011

Mitch and Sue Christiansen, formerly of Austin, pose for a photo on Mitch’s Colorado Springs mayoral campaign website. Sue died and Mitch is missing after a boating accident in Park County, Colo. -- Photo from

The search continues for a former Austin man missing after his boat capsized on Eleven Mile Reservoir in Park County, Colo., last weekend.

Mitch Christiansen, 64, has been missing since at least Sunday, when his boat was found on the reservoir. His wife, 62-year-old Sue Christiansen, was found dead near the boat.

David Kintz Jr., the Park County Coroner, said the cause of Sue’s death was an accidental drowning, according to a Colorado State Parks statement.

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Mitch, a former Colorado Springs mayoral candidate, dropped out of the race before the April 5 election. He also formerly owned Raynor Door Services in Austin. He and Sue moved to Colorado Springs in June 1992, according to his campaign website,

Deb Frazier, Colorado State Parks communication manager, said the search has continued every day this week, weather permitting.

“Staff and other searchers have been going along the shore of the reservoir,” she said previously.

The search is focused near the area the boat was found. According to a release by Colorado State Parks, that area of the reservoir has boulders and sheer drops in the water of up to 85 feet, making the search difficult. Boats with sonar devices have played a major role in the search.

KMGH in Denver reported the couple had signed up for a fishing tournament but did not collect their tournament hats Saturday morning.

According to Frazier, 40 mph winds made for a rough day on the reservoir Saturday, although officials aren’t certain winds contributed.

“They don’t know (if the winds caused the accident),” Frazier said. “They just know the boat was found on Sunday.”