[UPDATED] Grand Junction Connection Church Pastor Disappears in New Mexico
The lead pastor of Connection Church in Grand Junction has been reported missing in Espanola, New Mexico.
[UPDATE: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 17]
Connection Church released an official statement this afternoon regarding Pastor Wallace.
"New Mexico Search and Rescue continues searching for Pastor Paris. Their search focus includes the river area from where his vehicle was found, and down the river."
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and Denver Post report Wallace was in Espanola, New Mexico on a search for a valuable treasure author Forrest Fenn claims to have hidden. The treasure is a chest of gold and jewels worth at least one million dollars and is allegedly hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.
Treasure hunters have been attempting to find the Fenn treasure since 2010 using clues in Fenn's writings. Some believe the treasure is in Colorado while others have searched areas in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico where Fenn lives.
In an interview in May, Fenn confirmed there have been treasure hunters that have come withing a few hundred feet of the chest, but no one has ever proven to find the hidden treasure.
[UPDATE: 2:23 p.m. Friday, June 16] New Mexico Search and Rescue has approximately 40 people in teams of eight people with search dogs. They are also utilizing aerial search equipped with high-resolution cameras.
Approximately 1.5 miles uphill from where Paris’ vehicle was found, NM Search and Rescue found a backpack belonging to Paris.
[UPDATE: 12:07 p.m. Friday, June 16] Connection Church provided additional information regarding the disappearance of Pastor Wallace.
New Mexico Search and Rescue and Highway Patrol have been involved with searching for Paris.
Paris' truck was found yesterday afternoon near the town of Pilar, New Mexico.
Last night, at approximately 10 p.m., NM authorities completed an aerial infrared search of the area near to where the vehicle was found, with no results. As of 6:00 AM this morning, NM Search and Rescue resumed their search.
There will be a prayer service this evening from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Connection Church, 655 North First Street. The service is open to the public.
[ORIGINAL STORY] The pastor, Paris Wallace, left Grand Junction on Monday (June 12) for meetings in Espanola.
When he failed to attend a meeting Wednesday afternoon and did not contact anyone either in New Mexico or Grand Junction, his wife filed a missing person report.
Little information is known other than reports Wallace may have been planning to go hiking in the Espanola area.
Wallace left personal belongings at the hotel he was staying at, but those items did not appear to give any indication where he may have gone.
The church posted this information on their Facebook Page Thursday afternoon (June 15).
This is our official statement re Pastor Paris. We are asking that you share this post only, and refrain from other posts and comments, as we want to make sure all information is correct. Thank you for understanding.
RE: Missing Grand Junction Pastor, Paris Wallace, Lead Pastor of Connection Church in downtown Grand Junction, CO
Pastor Paris Wallace, Connection Church, Grand Junction, CO, was reported as missing by his wife at approximately 5:00 pm on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
Paris traveled to Espanola, New Mexico on Monday, and missed a meeting on late Wednesday afternoon. Paris is driving a tan / beige color, 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe bearing Colorado License Plate FQS-377.
Paris is a White / Filipino Male, approximately 5’9” approximately 200 pounds. Paris is clean shaved and has chin length dark colored hair.
Anyone with information is asked to notify the New Mexico State Police at 1-575-758-8878 and notify Connection Church at 970-523-1857."
Additional Sources: GJ Sentinel/KKCO