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Collyer was last seen swimming in the Colorado River south of Rifle, Colorado on June 22, 1999. He dived off the cement retaining wall, was swept away by the fast-flowing current and disappeared. An extensive search turned up no sign of him; he is presumed drowned.
There are two plaques at the site of the retaining wall commemorating Collyer's life and death. Several people have drowned in that section of the river over the years. After Collyer's disappearance, the county erected a steel gate on the top of the wall near the shore to prevent people from jumping in.