BILLINGS – For 20 years, the disappearance of Jeff Jones’ father gnawed at him.
He was 12 when his dad, Raymond Jones, went bowhunting in Idaho’s Lemhi Mountains with his buddies. When Raymond didn’t return to camp one evening, his hunting partners informed the local sheriff’s department and a search was quickly launched.
Raymond went missing on Jeff’s 12th birthday, Sept. 7, 1968 – a birthday he shared with his father, who was born in 1929.
For days, men on foot scoured the rugged terrain near Hayden Creek where he was last seen. Airplanes, bloodhounds and helicopters were called in to assist a search that continued until bad weather shut efforts down.
Fifty-three years later, on Sept. 17, a bowhunter trekking through rocky terrain in the same region discovered two weathered black boots, the soles showing little wear, sticking out from under a boulder.
“He said when he found him he knew this was historic, someone who had been missing a long…