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Two women vanish from Colorado resort area

Two women have vanished just weeks apart from a popular Colorado resort area, according to authorities.

Melissa Whitsitt, 34, was reported missing on Aug.13 after she failed to show up to her job at a resort in Winter Park, police said in a statement.

Whitsitt, who moved from Tennessee to Colorado for the job, was last seen earlier that day on Woodspur Lane.

Authorities said her phone was used by an “unknown male” to make several calls from the Denver area but it has since been turned off, the Denver Gazette reported.

“Her debit card has also not been used,” cops added.

On the same day Whitsitt was last seen, police also announced that 55-year-old Svetlana Ustimenko had gone missing just weeks earlier in the Deadhorse Trailhead area of the Arapaho National Forest in nearby Fraser.

Fraser and Winter Park are both located in Colorado’s Grand County, a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts with its hiking and mountain bike trails, lakes and rivers, natural hot springs, and ski towns.


Melissa Whitsitt
Melissa Whitsitt, 34, was reported missing after she failed to show up for work at a resort in Winter Park.
Grand County Sheriff’s Office

Svetlana Ustimenko
Svetlana Ustimenko, 55, went missing just weeks earlier in the Deadhorse Trailhead area of the Arapaho National Forest.
Grand County Sheriff’s Office

Ustimenko’s rental car — a 2022 white Nissan Sentra with Louisiana plates — was located in late July at the Trailhead, police announced.

The vehicle was supposed to be returned on Aug. 10, Fox News reported.

Authorities said the two cases are not related and “appear to be isolated incidents with no threat to the community.”


Whitistt as she appeared before
Whitsitt’s mom, Cindy, shared another photo of what her daughter looked like with blonde hair.
Cindy Smith Whitsitt/Facebook

Whitsitt’s parents arrived from Tennessee this week to join the search for their missing daughter.

“Like a needle in a haystack,” a teary Cindy Whitsitt told CBS News Colorado.

The desperate mom said Melissa was very excited to land a job at the Winter Park Resort, a vast ski operation that covers some 3,000 acres.

“She is a livewire,” the mom added. “Always has been, she is very loud. You would see her or hear her if she is anywhere out there. Melissa, if you see us, just call us.”


  Missing-person notice for Ustimenko
Missing-person notice for Ustimenko.
Grand County Sheriff’s Office

Endangered person alert for Whitsitt
Endangered person alert for Whitsitt.
Grand County Sheriff’s Office

Meanwhile, officials on Tuesday called off the exhaustive search for Ustimenko due to a lack of clues after using drones, dogs and volunteers, the Denver Gazette reported.

​She had recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness and “was struggling as she tried to cope and was attracted to the Colorado mountains,” the outlet reported, citing officials.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Winter Park Police Department at 970-722-7779.

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