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Conservation Officers continue search days after man jumps into Wabash River

Bystanders continue to stop by the Wabash River to see if progress has been made on the search for a missing man. It's a situation that has many like Cassie Sears holding on to hope.

Posted: Feb. 17, 2019 5:22 PM
Updated: Feb. 17, 2019 10:40 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- Bystanders continue to stop by the Wabash River to see if progress has been made on the search for a missing man. It's a situation that has many like Cassie Sears holding on to hope.

“My heart melt. I was devastated for the family for their life. It’s unfortunate that it’s been this long but if we believe and have hope I feel that a miracle can come out," said Sears.

Since Wednesday Indiana Conservation Officers have loaded up their boats to search along the Wabash. Dedicated officers like Nathan Lutz are specially trained for water recovery.

"When there is some sort of water recovery be it individuals and people but also vehicles, safes, firearms, anything that another agency might need to be recovered out of the water this is something we focus on and train for on a regular basis," said officer Lutz.

Sunday these officers let News 10 join them on their search. Using sonar and dredging, crews have searched more than thirty hours along a one mile stretch of the river.

It’s a task that has been difficult due to high water and debris from the recent flooding.

"You got a lot of stuff underneath the water that a person can’t see that we have to not only sort through but work around as we're doing this process and try and make it even search and say that for certain that this body isn’t anywhere in this area before we can move on," said Lutz.

Concerned citizens like Sears say they're grateful to the search team and still hoping for answers.

"It’s really amazing it shows you that you’re not alone and that's what our community needs is we're not alone," said Sears.

With the river going down search crews have begun going back over places already searched. Crews will be back on the water Monday, but search efforts could be scaled back after that.

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