Former resident dies, another missing in boat accident

Published 8:13 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mitch and Sue Christianson, formerly of Austin. Sue died and Mitch is missing after a boating accident in Park County, Colo. -- Photo from

A former Austin woman has died and her husband, also formerly of Austin, is missing after their boat capsized on Eleven Mile Reservoir in Park County, Colo.

Deb Frazier, Colorado State Parks communication manager, said a boat was found Sunday morning with 62-year-old Sue Christianson’s body nearby. Her husband, 64-year-old Mitch Christianson, is still missing.

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.

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Frazier said the search continued all day Monday until the weather caused it to be called off. She would not comment on whether searchers are presuming the man is dead.

“Staff and other searchers have been going along the shore of the reservoir,” she said. “They will resume it again (Tuesday).”

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 if the winds contributed to the boat capsizing.

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