This past week here in southern Utah it was revealed that a supposedly missing hiker had in fact parked his car at a campground trail-head in the local mountains and gone straight to Australia. A simple enough story except that now the government wants to find this person and possibly charge him with a crime. His misdeed? That of not checking in with government authorities before deciding to legally obtain a plane ticket and leave the area of his own free will.
(August 9th) ST. GEORGE - During a late-afternoon press conference today, detectives from the Washington County Sheriff's Office said that the missing hiker, thought to be lost in the Oak Grove Campground area since July 30, has been found alive in Australia.
They said Bryan Butas, 35, used a credit card to purchase an airline ticket to Australia, departing from Los Angeles International Airport on Aug. 2 and arriving in Australia on Aug. 4.
"We're pleased he's alive, but we're not going to tolerate this if it was done intentionally," Washington County Sherifff Kirk Smith said. "The investigation is not complete."
I'm pretty sure it was done intentionally Sheriff Smith. Hoo-boy, but continue on with that investigation sir.
Butas was reported missing when he failed to show up for work Aug. 1. The Washington County Search and Rescue Team, along with numerous volunteers, searched for a week for the missing hiker.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office is working with the Washington County Attorney's Office on possible criminal charges against Butas for expenses accrued.
Is that really something they can stick someone with? Jennifer Wilbanks (the freakingly accursed Runaway Bride) was shown in recent news accounts to be submissively mowing the government's lawn in Duluth, Georgia for her sin of not telling local officials she was leaving town. Albuquerque, where she actually did tell authorities some fibs, leading to a short-lived search for a fictional abduction van, declined to press charges. Meanwhile back in Duluth she is being fined to the tune of $40,000 dollars in restitution for doing nothing illegal. Under what legal statute does leaving town without telling anyone fall under?
Finally back to Utah:
(August 10th) ST. GEORGE - The Washington County Sheriff's Office learned Wednesday morning that the airline ticket to Australia purchased by Bryan Butas, who was thought to be lost on Pine Valley Mountain for nearly a week, was one way.
"This pretty well confirms that he staged his death", Washington County Sheriff Kirk Smith said.
Not to me it doesn't. It simply means he parked his car and left it, for unknown reasons, at a campground in the mountains. As for the left behind vehicle there are laws and procedures that deal with them when they are abandoned, but he might also have called someone eventually to come pick it up. It's still just his business as far as I'm concerned.
Authorities are attempting to contact Australian law enforcement officials to help in the search for Butas who was thought to be missing after he told family and friends that he was going to go hiking July 30, the day after his 35th birthday to talk to "the Man".
In a related essay written last week called Going, going, gone author C.T. Rossi ends his piece with this paragraph:
There is a word for those who are not only restricted from traveling where they desire, but also must "check in" with an authority before absenting themselves. That word is slave.