"You know once you go without your child, I've heard a lot of people say 'That's something I could never imagine,' but to me, it is something I do imagine," Atadero said.
On Oct. 2, 1999, 3-year-old Jaryd disappeared while on a hike with a church group in Poudre Canyon. Search teams began looking for Jaryd - just as teams have been looking for Jessica now.
"The first days, you're full of hope, and you just keep praying, and you realize there are a lot of good people out there looking for your child. As each day goes by, it starts to settle in, and it starts to eat at you," Atadero said. "After 72 hours, you start thinking all kinds of things. Everything enters your mind: 'What could have happened' and, yes, you start thinking about the worst-case scenarios. That's the hardest thing because you want to see your child again."
Atadero had to wait three-and-a-half years for that day. On Father's Day, June 14, 2003, searches finally found Jaryd's body in Poudre Canyon. He had been taken - not by a person - but by a mountain lion.
"It is something that stays with you, and it is with you for the rest of your life. It changes your life forever," Atadero said.
His hope is that the search for Jessica ends with her safe return to her family. He knows just how difficult these hours and days must be for her family, and he is offering his help.
"I mean everyone says 'I don't know what you're going through' and they're right. But if I could talk to Jessica's mom, I want to put my arms around her and say, 'You know what? I do understand what you're going through. Let me help you if I can because it is a long hard road and hopefully we'll find Jessica soon,'" Atadero said.
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