Man never checked out of Stateline hotel room |

Man never checked out of Stateline hotel room

A hotel room with personal belongings, an unused plane ticket and a cab driver’s statement is the bulk of evidence Douglas County authorities have in the missing person case of Steven George Dowden.

Dowden, 52, was last seen by a taxicab driver who dropped him off Dec. 13 at Eagle Falls, an entrance to the 63,960 acres of Desolation Wilderness across from Emerald Bay.

The driver said Dowden had a backpack. Employees at Harveys Resort Casino, where Bowden was staying beginning Dec. 4, entered his room Dec. 22 to find him missing. Topographical maps with Lake Tahoe hiking trails were also found in the room, authorities said.

Dowden lived in Berkeley until April. He moved to Burlington, Vt., and stayed in hotels and camped until early December, when he flew into Reno-Tahoe International Airport on Dec. 4, deputies said.

His return ticket to Vermont was for Dec. 18. Four days later, hotel employees checked his room.

The 52-year-old was reportedly last seen by a cab driver on Dec. 13. He was picked up at Harveys and requested a ride to the Eagle Falls Trailhead, authorities said.

According to Douglas County sheriff’s deputies, Bowden’s family in Ohio and New York said they haven’t heard from the man in several years until a couple of weeks ago when he telephoned his relatives, telling them he was at Lake Tahoe looking for a place to live.

Dowden is described by relatives as an avid outdoorsman and hiker. Due to the timing of his disappearance and the recent winter storms, authorities are concerned Dowden may have been caught in a storm.

Dowden may suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. According to the Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Association of America’s Web site, the illness causes exhaustion, lack of stamina, flu-like symptoms and problems with concentration and short-term memory.

He has long brown hair which is worn in a ponytail. He has poor vision and may be wearing glasses. He is described as 6 feet tall, 140 pounds and with gray eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Douglas County sheriff’s Investigator Jason Cypher at (775) 586-7255 or Secret Witness at (775) 586-7295.

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