MERIDIAN (Idaho Statesman) — Matt Schultz, a prominent west Idaho land developer, is believed to have left his Meridian home to explore land in Owyhee County. His family said he hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
Schultz, 50, was seen leaving his home on South Calusa Avenue in a light green 2021 Toyota Tacoma on Wednesday afternoon.
His last cell phone ping came from 60 miles south of the Bennett Mountains in Owyhee County, possibly in the Bruneau Canyon area on that same day.
“There’s been no phone activity since then,” his niece Elise Woolstenhulme told the Idaho Statesman in a phone interview. “Nothing, nothing at all as far as communication.”
A breakthrough in the search came Sunday afternoon when a volunteer pilot spotted Schultz’s truck from the air 30 miles from his last phone ping.
Schultz usually spends weekdays living alone at his home in Meridian and then returns to Pocatello on weekends to his home where his wife and children live. One of his favorite hobbies is flying drones. He often spends his free time exploring areas where he can fly them.
“He’s not the greatest communicator about what he’s going to do or where he’s going go,” Woolstenhulme said. “And so Wednesday, when he went out to fly his drone, he didn’t tell anybody where he was going. But it’s not unusual that his wife Robyn doesn’t hear from him because he’s flying his drone. By Thursday, she was concerned.”
On Friday, she filed a missing person report with the police. Meridian officers conducted a wellness check on his home but he was not there.
POLICE SEARCH UNDERWAY
On Sunday, law enforcement began focusing their search near the Bruneau Canyon River around the Cave Draw area.
Schultz’s family was originally asking for search volunteers. The Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office said they are no longer asking for volunteers and instead ask the public to avoid the area as law enforcement conducts their own search.
Schultz is a father of four, including two 5-month-old twin daughters. He owns Schultz Development, a land development and consultant company.
Last week, Schultz took drone footage of the Bruneau Canyon area and put video of it on YouTube. He told his son he wanted to return to the area soon.