Sunday, December 25, 2011

Celebrating the Greatest Cosmic Event of All Time

God becoming one of us. Pretty big stuff in simple form. What a strange way to save the world. In church last night wondering whether Jim knows it is Christmas Eve...what a thing to different from one year ago... but really...did he know?

Yes, anniversary came and went, now Christmas and no word from Jim so far. Still looking for new ways to search for Jim and hoping to find him alive and ready for a new life among those he loves.

In Oregon, celebrating with Ali and Paul. New family and good times; beautiful worship; wonderful music; breath of heaven moving around me; filling; comforting. What a strange way to live...

Hoping that all who read and care are also full of God's love today. Knowing that the creator of everything you love, also loves you. Thank you to all. Merry Christmas.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Two Months Today is December 19th.  Jim walked away on October 19th.  Two full months.  Is that all?  It seems like some sort of eternity.  Life was so good, getting along well, having some good times with trips to Tucson with our three kids and their loves, great weekend at our old favorite Southern California beaches, a great four days in Phoenix, and plans, plans, plans for full retirement for both of us at the end of my school year.  Jim's comment four days before leaving, when asked what retirement is all about for him: "It's about us being together more."  Wow, how sweet is that.

Such a magnitude of change in just four short days and one profound discussion.  What was he thinking?  That we would all be okay; he's provided for us well?  Did he know that our lives would be turned upside down; that his wife and children would leave their jobs and lives behind and search the hills and deserts around Sedona for weeks; that thousands of people all over the country would be praying for him, hoping for his return, and sharing their love with us?  Did he know how many people would care; how much he has given to so many?  Did he know how much he matters to his children, and their children?  Did he feel some sort of emotional disturbance developing within his psyche?  Did he leave with a sense of adventure, or deep sadness and uncertainty...or both?  

I wonder what he is thinking now, if he's thinking.  I wonder how he is, and where he has been.  What stories would he tell us, if he were to tell?  I have loved a mysterious and complex man, and been privileged to share 42 (+5) years of his life.  That, in itself, is a gift to be cherished.  On Wednesday, our 43rd anniversary, I will celebrate all of that.  Perhaps Jim will too...somewhere, out there.  Karen

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 53

Today I went walking...taking the route Jim probably took, based upon having been seen heading west on one of the roads in our neighborhood that leads toward the desert trails around The Village of Oak Creek on that morning of October 19th, that seems so long ago now.  Then onto the Kel Fox trail--again--where his scent had been picked up by the blood hound, Aggie, six days after his disappearance. seems quite certain that he went that way.

But...did he continue in that direction?  We did much searching in that direction and beyond with no success. Or did he change his mind and go someplace else?  Early in this journey Ali and Sami discovered some video footage from October 19th taken by cameras in the Ranger Station parking lot, where the trailhead for one of our favorite hikes "Woods Canyon" is located.  There was a man wearing the same colored clothing we believe Jim to have, who walked onto that trail that morning at exactly 9:31 a.m. with a small backpack that appeared to be rather full.  Given the facts that we searched that trail and had two helicopters flyovers on Day 3, that the quality of the video makes recognition impossible, and that Aggie got no hit on that trailhead, the clothing color match was considered coincidental, as khaki and navy are pretty standard hiking gear colors.

However, it has remained in my head that this man could have been Jim.  So I had to have more information.  I wondered if it was physically possible for him to have gone to both of those places on that fateful morning?  How long would it take to do so? That is what I set out to discover on foot this day.  If I could do it, Jim could do it.  Well, the trek took me two hours.  If Jim left the house at 7:30, he could have gone both places and been that man at the trailhead at 9:31 a.m.

But, could he really have left the house only one hour after I left for work?  How long does it take to do a couple of chores and pack for such a leaving?  So, still no certainty--just one more piece in the puzzle.  Beautiful day.  Beautiful place.  So much mystery. 


Saturday, November 26, 2011

RED ROCK NEWS Article from Wednesday, November 23, 2011. That was DAY 36

Schwartz Family Struggles While Search Continues For Father, Jim

Written by Christopher Fox Graham   

The Rev. Jim Schwartz, the 66-year-old former pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, was last seen by his wife at their Village of Oak Creek home at 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 19. If you have seen him, contact YCSO at (928) 771-3260 with any information.Photo courtesy of the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office/Susan Bolling Photography.

The Rev. Jim Schwartz, the 66-year-old former pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, was last seen by his wife at their Village of Oak Creek home at 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 19. If you have seen him, contact YCSO at (928) 771-3260 with any information.
After a month, the Rev. Jim Schwartz is still missing.
Schwartz, the 66-year-old former pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, was last seen by his wife at their Village of Oak Creek home at 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 19. Schwartz’s son, Jeremiah, said a neighbor reportedly saw his father halfway between home and the Kel Fox Trailhead later that morning.
Where Jim Schwartz went afterward, and his current whereabouts, are unknown. After an intense few weeks of searches around the Village, Jeremiah Schwartz said the family was forced to scale back the search.
“We’re not organizing large search efforts on a day-to-day basis,” Schwartz said.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Forest Patrol Unit joined the search, with deputies deploying search dogs and Guardian Air conducting a helicopter flyover on Oct. 21.
Schwartz said bloodhounds from Arizona Search Track & Rescue seemed to indicate a scent of Jim Schwartz on the Kel Fox Trail.
The initial outpouring of community support immediately after the disappearance leads Jeremiah Schwartz to believe they have effectively combed almost everywhere in a 5-mile radius and many areas within a 10-mile radius.
The family is torn, struggling with the possibility he may have suffered a diabetic episode — he is diabetic but not insulin-dependent. He takes maintenance medication but it is unknown if he had any with him. Yet, the family still holds on to hope he is alive somewhere else in the Verde Valley or has left the area, possibly by hitchhiking.
Jeremiah Schwartz said when his father was a pastor in Minnesota, he led large youth groups on long, seven- to 10-day hikes through the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming. Those hikes were some of his father’s fondest memories.
In his retirement, Jim Schwartz expressed desire to go on long, overnight hikes. He purchased backpacks Oct. 15, but they are still at home, Jeremiah Schwartz said.  Jim Schwartz likely had a tarp and a book about Arizona native plants with him, Jeremiah Schwartz said. He likely otherwise left home with minimal gear.

Find the Rev. Jim Schwartz

The Rev. Jim Schwartz is 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs 190 pounds and has graying brown hair.
According to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Schwartz may have been wearing a black T-shirt, light gray fleece pullover, khaki hiking pants with zip-off legs, navy blue waterproof jacket, brown Hi-Tec hiking boots, and a khaki brown hiking hat with LED lights.
He was likely in possession of a black JanSport backpack probably containing some survival items including an orange tarp, compass, flashlight, an native plant book and possibly water purification tablets.
In case Jim Schwartz did leave the area, Jeremiah Schwartz said the family is spreading the word via media outlets and law enforcement agencies hoping searchers can find someone who may have seen him. Schwartz said his father expressed an interest in working with Mexican immigrants in Arizona border cities or other border states.
YCSO spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn stated in a press release a man matching Jim Schwartz’ description was seen in downtown Prescott on Oct. 22 and another sighting Oct. 27 reportedly placed him in Payson, but none of these leads could be verified.
Jeremiah Schwartz said unconfirmed reports have led some to mistakenly believe his father was found, and they have taken down flyers. The family is struggling to continue awareness Jim Schwartz is still missing. The family maintains the blog Find Jim Schwartz and a Facebook page.
Family members are also hiking around the Village and staying alert to signs of where Schwartz might be or have been.
Schwartz is 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs 190 pounds and has graying brown hair. According to YCSO, Schwartz may have been wearing a black T-shirt, light gray fleece pullover — not a jacket as previously reported— khaki hiking pants with zip-off legs, navy blue waterproof jacket, brown Hi-Tec hiking boots, and a khaki brown hiking hat with LED lights. He was likely in possession of a black JanSport backpack probably containing some survival items including an orange tarp, compass, flashlight, an native plant book and possibly water purification tablets.
To date there has been no activity involving any of Schwartz’s bank or credit accounts since Oct. 19.
“He brought no money as far as we know,” Jeremiah Schwartz said.

Contact YCSO at (928) 771-3260 with any information.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


As a family, we are continuing in our efforts to locate Jim.  Below is the most recent media release:

Media Release 
Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office
Scott Mascher - Sheriff 255 E. Gurley Street, Prescott, AZ 86301 
Dwight D’Evelyn - Media Coordinator 928-777-7441
YCSO Seeking Public Help to Locate Missing Adult from Village of Oak Creek


Since October 19, 2011, the date 66-year-old James “Jim” Schwartz was last seen, YCSO deputies and detectives have continued to follow-up on tips. Schwartz apparently walked away from his home on that date after leaving a note indicating he planned to leave. Family members and friends have also continued ground searches in the Sedona/Village of Oak Creek subsequent to search efforts involving YCSO deputies/volunteers following the initial report. As of today, there has been no success in locating Mr. Schwartz. Within the last week, YCSO received a tip reporting Schwartz walking in downtown Prescott on October 22, 2011. In light of another previous reported sighting in Prescott, deputies have distributed flyers to homeless shelters and soup kitchens throughout the area. On October 27, 2011, YCSO received reports of a man matching Schwartz’s description in the Payson area.
Clothing update – This includes items he may be wearing or currently have access to: Black t-shirt, light grey fleece pullover (not a jacket), khaki hiking pants with zip-off legs that become shorts, navy blue waterproof jackets, brown hiking boots, and a brown hiking hat with LED lights in the style of a ball cap.
Schwartz is 5’ 08,” around 190 pounds with grey/brown hair. Family members state that he is diabetic, but not insulin dependent. He takes maintenance medication and it is unknown if those medications are with him. No activity involving any bank/credit cards accounts previously used by Schwartz has occurred since October 19, 2011.

YCSO personnel and family members are hoping Jim sees media reports and initiates some form of contact so family and the public at large know he is safe.

As indicated previously, since no verification of Schwartz has been made in any of the recent tips, we ask the public not to preclude a possibility he could still be in the VOC/Sedona area. YCSO encourages those hiking in and around Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek to keep alert for any sightings of Schwartz.
Please contact YCSO at 928-771-3260 or your local law enforcement agency if Schwartz is located.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yesterday marked Four Weeks Since Pastor Jim's Disappearance from his home in Village of Oak Creek/Sedona Area on Wednesday October 19th, 2011.

It's amazing how much can change in 12 short weeks. 
12 weeks ago we were celebrating your retirement and sharing dreams for your new lifestyle, excited to hear about all of your plans after your years of service to the Lutheran Church. 
We miss and love you dad...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

DAY 26. Where Is Jim Schwartz?

Today's story in the Verde Independent:

Yesterday we posted new flyers in ZipLock Bags at major trailheads in the area just in time! It's rainy and dreary in Sedona Today...

Now we are off to church with a string of Paper Cranes to hang!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Today Marks Three Weeks Since Jim's Disappearance. It's DAY 22. Where are you?

This is a photo taken from the direction we feel Jim first headed when hiking alone Wednesday October 19th, exactly 22 days ago.

So where do we go from here? It has been three weeks of this new maddening reality. It feels like that part in Lassie when he barks to let you know Timmy fell into the well.  You know that feeling you get for the next 28 seconds of anticipation and excitement knowing Timmy is in danger and needs help, and the TV pans to follow his rescuer?  It's that feeling except those 28 seconds have lasted now 22 days and it's not a TV show. And there is no Lassie.  And it's not Timmy, 
it's our dad/husband/friend/brother/uncle/hero/pastor/neighbor/patron/taxpayer/community member/counselor/and so much more.  
And I don't want to watch it anymore.  But we can't just stop. He's out there in this enormous, expansive, massive, lonely desert.  There is snow on the ground just north of here and it's not getting any warmer.  

We are still continuing to search.  For those who heard rumors that "he was found" please know them to be just that: rumors.  Jim is STILL missing.  The sightings outside of Sedona are either unconfirmed or have been ruled out.
  It is amazing the many theories out there surrounding his disappearance, and we're sure they are well intended and everyone just want's to know WHY? As do we.  Why Jim? Why us? Why now? But most of all, we want to know WHERE. 

And that is what is next: WHERE

“The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.”
― Edward Abbey

Monday, October 31, 2011

A crisis in review. The search continues...

It is so hard to put the last 12 days into words, but since we started this blog half way into the search, I thought I would update it a bit with the backstory for anyone interested that does not have facebook.

Wed 10/19- Jim goes missing and his disappearance is reported to the Yavapai Sheriff's office

Thurs 10/20- One search and rescue officer begins searching a trail behind the house in the Village of Oak Creek.  This is a trail that is very close and very familiar to my father.  Today the kids arrive as well to join in the search efforts.

Friday 10/21- Our first 7am Ranger Station meeting.  We have an amazing group of volunteers eager to help.  Simultaneously the YCSO (yavapai county sheriff's office) sends out a team of air scent dogs and a helicpoter to canvas the same area as the day before.  In order to keep that area freed up for the dogs, we mobilize volunteers into our second choice spot where we think dad might go.  In addition we send out people to hand out fliers, canvas neighborhoods and make phone calls. 

The love starts pouring in...and so does the food.  THANK YOU to all who have kept us well fed during this crisis.

Saturday 10/22-  YCSO SAR calls off the search.  We are completely on our own in the Search and Rescue department.  At this point the Sheriff's office can only follow leads brought in by the public unless something concrete is discovered.  They do not have the funds to help us search the desert.  7am Ranger station meetings continue, more groups are mobilized into areas we believe dad could be, or could have traveled through.

Friday 10/21-Saturday 10/29 all blur together. 

7am Ranger station meetings continue, to try to organize and mobilize volunteers.  We continue to have the amazing support of family, friends,  neighbors, community members and our church family.  Ladies from the church are teaming up with neighbors to man the phones, shop, cook, find housing for out of town volunteers and lift our spirits.  Men and women alike from the church and community are out combing the desert, family and friends fly/drive/make their way to Sedona to join the cause.  Plane and helicpoter pilots donate time for air searches, friends with 4WD and ATV's mobilize, people with horses show up to help, AZSTAR (AZ search, track and rescue) bring various dog teams up from the valley, AZ search and response members also volunteer to mobilize a dog team, friends mail in their personal GPS and radio equipment to help us organize more efficiently.   Red tape is put up and the volunteers do their best to tear it down.  We could not have gotten this far without ALL of you.  Community businesses reach out to donate supplies, copies and services.  GARMIN donates brand new Rhino units and more to keep us in contact with eachother and keep us on the right path.  We mobilized the media and found dad's story on the nightly news, in the papers and on the radio.  Communities near and far organized prayer vigils, posted (and continue to post) fliers in their vicinity, paper cranes were made (with a goal of 1,000 in hopes of finding truth in the ancient 1,000 paper cranes tale that if you make 1,000 your wish will come true), hundred's maybe even thousands PRAYED. 

We have had many visitors: family, friends, community members we have never even met before, pastors...even our synod bishop.  All have brought peace and love.  Each day is hectic, every evening is family time.  We have cried, talked, worshiped, planned and prayed together.

Besides our minds going a mile a minute trying to pull together this one-of-a-kind (our first time, ha ha!) grass roots search, all we can do is watch in amazement at the help and love and say Thank you, thank you, thank you...but still no Dad.

Sunday 10/30-It has been a grueling 10 days.  The family goes to church and worships the Creator who knows and sees all.  We trust that He will make a way in all of this.  One of the Reformation texts Psalm 46, has helped us through the begining of this journey "God is our Refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble." After church more calls are made, more tips come in, at this point the YCSO is fielding hitch-hiking tips, can dad be out there, outside of Sedona?  We won't say no, and we appreciate any leads...where to look next...that is the question.

Monday 10/31- WE WILL FIND DAD! Today we have been calling all over the place.  We hope that our facebook and blog followers will print the flier and put it up any and everywhere.  Offices, businesses, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, media etc.  We have to get the word out on our own and we need it to spread.  We pray that the "right" person will see the info and have a tip, either about dad, or about how we can further our search.  We need help...we need Prayer...we still need YOU.

This search is ever evolving; it is nowhere near over.  Please help us find our dad...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Live in Arizona? Here is how you can help.

Hello dearest volunteers.  At this point in the search for Jim, the most helpful thing that you can do is to print up the "Still Missing" poster and spread them throughout your community.  Here in Sedona and the VOC we have been quite thorough in spreading the word, but I am sure there are still locations in need of a poster.  Outside of Sedona, the need is even greater.

Through Facebook, you can go to the Find Jim Schwartz photo gallery and look at the wall photos. The flyer is in that gallery. Once you double click the image, there is an option to Download the photo. From there you could print the flyer/poster. 

If you do not have access to Facebook, you can right click this image of the "Still Missing" Poster and download it to your computer by selecting "save image as". 

Please distribute these flyers to any stores, law enforcement agencies, libraries, post offices, etc.  We have been working our tails off to get these everywhere but just ran into a police officer today in Flagstaff who knew nothing about the case!!!! Obviously we have more work to do and with your help we can make sure that everyone in AZ knows!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The tide is turning...

Today has marked a major shift in our search tactics. We have decided that the families efforts should be focused on continuing to raise awareness about our father's case throughout the state. More phone calls and emails and faxing...less hiking and canvassing of the surrounding hills. The 7 am lineup meetings have been called off for now...if we get another lead that points us to the hills it will resume. In the meantime, if you are interesting in helping the family, please let us know. We love you all and thank you infinitely for your support!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The legend of 1000 cranes...

Legend says that anyone who folds one thousand paper cranes will have their heart's desire come true. 

So we set out to make our wishes come true. Will making 1,000 cranes work? Who knows, but we have to do something and it's a great thing to keep busy with when we can't be out hiking. 

The idea started and took off when Sami's best friend Kim started making them with her high school math classes. So far we have 676 cranes hanging from our walls. If you want to help you can bring them by the house or give us a call. We will figure out how to get them to us. The cranes give us a visual representation of the love and support pouring out from the community.

Thank you, thank you, thank you all for everything you have contributed in time, energy, prayers, 
and everything else. 


The family will be attending church and will not be meeting at the Ranger Station at 7am.  If you are interested in helping that day please contact us.  We are contemplating an afternoon hike in the event that we do not find Jim today.

This is the HAT we believe Jim Schwartz was wearing the day of his disappearance on Wednesday October 19th, 2011

Here are Karen and Jim Hiking around Tucson.
This is the hat we believe him to be wearing.  It has LED lights in the brim.



Friday, October 28, 2011




“Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the 
most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you -- beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”

― Edward Abbey

Thursday, October 27, 2011

STILL MISSING. 7am Meeting at the Jim Ranger Station Tomorrow Morning

Jim Schwartz
last seen in the Village of Oak Creek Wednesday 10-19-11

Family Hike in Sedona area

Horses and New Approaches

Today is a slightly different day. Horses are out again and it's quiet in the house, that is when you compare it to this week.  We have groups in the Prescott area distributing fliers as well as in places like Page Springs. There are new dogs lined up to be here to help both Friday and Saturday who can hopefully start where Aggie left off. People we don't even know show up at the door asking to help, it is phenomenal and shines hope. Family members have been canvasing several points of interest and are continuously processing tips.

We have hope, love, and support, now we just need JIM!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Yesterday afternoon we received a phone call from a lady who lives in a neighboring town.  She had seen our story on the news and wanted to help.  Today she came with three other horsemen to help cover more ground in our specific search area. What a generous and amazing group!  Here are some photos of them heading down the street... Any volunteers to scoop poop? but really we did follow them and scope horse poop through this cute golf side neighborhood.

That crazy storm passed, but it was detrimental in that our hiking group had to call it early.  We are so close! He's out there.....but WHERE?! Give us a clue!


Today we are Searching the area between the Village of Oak Creek and House Mountain starting where the Search dogs were called off last night at the end of Diamond Sky Road.  It was too dark last evening to continue the search safely and with a wave of emotion we pulled off the scent.  Aggie the Bloodhound was NOT HAPPY that we had to stop "working" and I think NOT HAPPY is an understatement for our feelings for having come this close.
PRAY for us now as the volunteer searchers are hiking in the hills and a torrential downpour has just hit.  And lightning. OUR VOLUNTEER SEARCHERS ARE STRONG AND HOPEFUL THEY WILL FIND JIM.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We will find Dad!

Aggie (Agatha) the bloodhound showed promising interest near our first instinct. We are hitting the trail in a NEW way and we need YOU! 7 am (Wed) at the Ranger Station, we can NOT wait to see YOU there! Please come prepared to hike (not walk), bring some food, lots of water, and your AMAZING spirits. We ♥ our volunteers!

Please Help Us Find Jim Schwartz

STILL MISSING: JIM SCHWARTZ IN ARIZONA. Last Seen on Wednesday (10-25-11) in the morning before going on a hike from his home in the Village of Oak Creek.

We have these rad dogs on the scent. Thank YOU AZSTAR

Monday, October 24, 2011

Jim Schwartz is Missing

JIM SCHWARTZ was last seen in the Village of Oak Creek on Wednesday 10/19/11wearing brown hiking boots and a grey fleece jacket.
He is 66 yrs. old, 5'8"
If you have seen him or have any information on his whereabouts please call (480) 359-6209 and leave a clear message with you name, telephone number, where and when you may have seen him and we will call you with further information. THANK YOU