The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

October 25, 2012

Missing 'hunter' says quest was for marijuana

ASHTABULA, Ohio — The search for a missing “hunter” revealed more than just the location of the 39-year-old man — it turns out that he and his partners were hunting marijuana.

According to an Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department report, a search was launched Oct. 14, about three hours after the man’s ex-wife reported him missing.

She told a deputy that she had dropped off her ex-husband and two other men who had guns and were going hunting, although nothing was in season.

Two of the men met at the rendezvous point, that evening, but the third never showed up. One told a deputy that during his ordeal he was surrounded by four coyotes.

The missing man was soon located hiding in weeds near the First Church of the Nazarene. The real story about their adventure then came out: the missing man said there were marijuana plants with “70 to 80 pounds” of pot on them growing on private property in the woods.

All three men face a charge of criminal trespassing, while the 31-year-old also faces a charge of obstruction of justice for concealing facts related to the investigation.

The marijuana plants were located by law enforcement and removed from the site. The investigation into who owns the property on which they were growing continues.

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