Officials are searching a stretch of the Missouri River for a paraglider who has been missing for more than a week.
The paraglider, Kenny Loudermilk, 35, disappeared Oct. 26 while paragliding around the Missouri River at dusk, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. Dallas Thompson said witnesses saw Loudermilk go into the waters of the Missouri River, but did not believe the landing was intentional. Loudermilk floated a short distance downstream before going under the water and then never resurfacing, the patrol says.
That was near Washington, Missouri, St. 50 miles west of Louis, according to CNN affiliate KMOV.
Troopers from the Highway Patrol’s marine division have scoured the water every day since Loudermilk disappeared. They conducted surface searches, used sonar equipment to scan underwater and used trawling equipment, Thompson said. A highway patrol helicopter has also been circling the area, scanning the riverbanks from above, and private search companies have assisted in their efforts.
According to the highway patrol, the search has expanded to more than five miles from where Loudermilk was seen entering the water.
“The search will continue and we hope to find them soon and bring some closure to this family,” Thompson said.
Loudermilk developed a deep passion for paragliding over the past three years, KMOV reported.
“I knew he was having fun when he was flying,” Loudermilk’s 15-year-old daughter Kylie said, according to KMOV.
Kylie, who now lives with her grandparents, told KMOV that she is trying to stay positive.
“I know he’s here and I’m thinking he wants me to be positive and not focus on the negative,” Kylie said.
A verified GoFundMe has been set up to fund search efforts and support Kylie.