Father of missing teen Joe Keller talks about case six months later
It has been six months since a Cleveland teen disappeared while on a trip with friends in Colorado. The family of 19-year-old Joe Keller has not given up on finding him. Joe went for a run on July 23,2015 in Conejos County, Colorado when he vanished.
It has been six months since a Cleveland teen disappeared while on a trip with friends in Colorado. The family of 19-year-old Joe Keller has not given up on finding him.
Joe went for a run on July 23,2015 in Conejos County, Colorado when he vanished. Ever since, his family has conducted its own searches while pushing for more involvement from Colorado law enforcement.
"We think of him everyday," says Neal Keller, Joe's father.
There is not a day that goes by that Neal Keller does not send messages to his son.
"I call for Joe, 'Where are you? What's happened to you Joe?'"
An avid runner, Joe went for a run with a friend near Antonito, Colorado the day before his 19th birthday.
"It's a traveled road. He wasn't running in the woods. He was running on a road, a road that has traffic," says Keller.
His friend was jogging ahead of Joe. On his way back, Joe was nowhere to be found.
"I think something happened on that road."
Neal was on the ground the day after Joe disappeared. The Conejos County Sheriff's Office conducted a search for about a week.
"Officially you'd say that Conejos County is in charge. However, I do not believe that they're applying themselves to it as much as they should or maybe as much as their resources allow them to," says Keller.
Joe's family paid for their own helicopter search and pushed for the local sheriff to allow Bradley County investigators to help. After some resistance they did.
Neal also pleaded to get the Colorado Bureau of Investigation involved.
"It's frustrating also to see that law enforcement in Colorado really does not take this that seriously, in my a opinion," says Keller.
The CBI can only get involved at the local sheriff's request. The CBI tells Channel 3 it is not the lead agency on the case and referred all questions to the Conejos County Sheriff's Office.
"I think there's very good potential for him being alive. Yes, I certainly do," says Keller.
Joe's family did another search in November with no luck.
"The ground is very rugged, deep, rocky."
He says they are not giving up.
"We put a lot of faith in The Lord. Today I think everybody needs to put more faith in The Lord," says Keller.
He will never stop searching for Joe.
"We miss him a lot. Very very much."
Channel 3 made numerous attempts to contact the Conejos County Sheriff's Office, with no response.
Some human bones were recently found about 100 miles from where Joe was last seen but state investigators on that case tell Neal the odds of them being identified as Joe's are slim to none .
Neal says he is planning another ground search closer to Spring.
In the meantime, he is hoping to make it to the Colorado state house on February 4 .The legislature is hearing from family members of missing loved ones in Colorado hoping to bring attention to those unsolved cases.
For the 'Find Joe Keller' Facebook page, click here.