Search Continues for Missing Darby Resident
By angelamontana

Posted: September 23, 2018

The Missoulian posted the following regarding Darby resident Jim Mann.

DARBY — Jim Mann made his last phone call on July 26.

That’s about the same time the Darby man disappeared.

“We found his phone in his house when we went inside to look around for evidence,” said Darby Town Marshal Larry Rose. “His closest friends have since told me that he leaves his phone behind all the time. It’s not unusual for him to not have it with him.

“It looks to me like he just left,” Rose said. “It looks like he went for a drive and that’s the last anyone saw of him.”

Mann liked to drive the back roads of Montana and Idaho. Friends and family said he was partial to Lost Horse, Lake Como and Painted Rocks, but it wasn’t unusual for him to venture over the divide and drop into Idaho.

Without anything to go on, Rose said searching for the man is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

“I can almost bet that he drove off the road somewhere,” Rose said. “If people aren’t looking, they could drive right by.”

Rose has seen that happen time and time again in his years in Darby.

About 10 years ago, a vehicle went off the road in the Tin Cup area west of town.

“It was in one of those areas that hunters never go,” he said. “The people who drove by would never see the vehicle. A lady was out walking her dog on this road that hardly anyone uses. The dog walked over to the edge and looked down. When she followed it, she spotted a small part of the vehicle.

“We may have never found it if she hadn’t been walking her dog,” he said. “That was a couple of months after that person went missing.”

Then there was the motorcyclist who came through Darby and disappeared. He was found much later near Salmon in the river. In 1949, an airplane travelling from Idaho to Hamilton went missing. It took 39 years for some elk horn hunters to stumble across the crash site.

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