Captain Tony Rio Leads Investigation Discovery Crew Through Burgert Cold Case [YouTube]
In June of 2011, Missoula County Sheriff's deputies came in contact with noted anti-government activist David Burgert, and shots were exchanged after a high-speed chase that led from just outside Lolo to a remote area past the Lumberjack Saloon off Highway 12.
On Monday, Captain Tony Rio led a crew from Investigation Discovery, headed up by Emmy-award winning television reporter Tony Harris, through the incident, taking them to the remote wilderness area where Burgert was last seen.
"Harris was doing a story delving into anti-government hate groups, and they wanted to get more information on the Burgert investigation," Rio said. "First, they went up to Flathead County, where Burgert was involved in an organization called 'Project 7'. Then, they came to Missoula because of our run-in with Burgert, and the fact that he was last seen in this area."
"We got calls that a suspicious person was staying out by Fort Fizzle, and when Deputy Newsome and a trainee approached, Burgert took off in his Jeep," he said. "They pursued him up Highway 12 to just past the Lumberjack when Burgert got out of his vehicle and fired a handgun at them. Burgert attempted to get to the back of his vehicle where he had several hunting rifles, but gunfire coming from our deputies kept him from retrieving them. If he had been able to get to his long guns, the outcome could have been a lot different. As it turned out, he dropped a magazine and a flashlight, and that's the last anyone heard of him."
Rio said Harris speculated on whether Burgert might still be alive, but Rio has his own suspicions,
"That day, I was at the top of the mountain and we were waiting for reinforcements to get there, and I did hear one gunshot, and it was definitely a pistol shot," Rio said. "Harris said some think that Burgert escaped to a compound in northwest Montana or north Idaho. We just talked about different theories as to why neither Burgert, nor his body, has ever been found."
There is no firm date as to when the episode featuring Captain Rio will air on Investigation Discovery.