The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 25, 2014

Family of missing man organizes search

OTTUMWA — The family of Michael Chrisman, who went missing in the Des Moines River on Monday, has organized a search of their own.

The new search party branches away from law enforcement. According to Theresa Cline, Chrisman's mother-in-law, it is "because we were not getting the support that we felt we should have been getting from the local authorities."

Cline and her family have received support from individuals and businesses alike. "Primarily, our source of assistance has been from the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office," said Cline.

The family has requested all residents with property along the Des Moines River between Wapello and Van Buren counties to check their land.

The family believes Chrisman may have made it to land and fears he is lying unconscious or injured on private property. The search party is unable to check private property, which is why they are reaching out to the community.

Chrisman has been missing since 7:30 p.m. Monday. He entered the river from a rope swing at Cliffland Access in Agency. Search parties have been ongoing since the initial disappearance.

There continues to be overwhelming support from friends and family of Chrisman.

"In the evening times, we usually have between 20 and 30 volunteers and in the day about 40 to 45," said Cline. However volunteers are still needed on the water and on foot. In addition, dogs and horses are needed to aid in the search.

The family would like to thank Ottumwa Hy-Vee for providing water for volunteers and Ottumwa Wal-Mart for providing flashlights, batteries and reflect tape and the community for their aid and efforts.

— To see Danielle Lunsford's Twitter feed, follow @CourierDanielle.

Text Only
Local News
  • No Headline Provided Today ... A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3 p.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 94. Heat index values as high as 107. Breezy. Tonight ... A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low

    July 22, 2014

  • Bill OK'd for data recovery OTTUMWA — Almost a month ago, the city’s Engineering Department’s server failed. After receiving and installing the necessary parts, attempts to restart the server failed, resulting in a drive being shipped to Data Recovery Services in St. Louis in h

    July 21, 2014

  • Man killed in Wapello County BLOOMFIELD — A man was discovered dead Monday of a gunshot wound in rural Wapello County. However, no further danger related to the shooting is expected. Authorities aren't giving full details of the incident, but a press release said that at 1:21 a.

    July 21, 2014

  • Forensic scientist: Residue doesn't determine who fired gun DAVENPORT — A forensic scientist who testified today in the trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife said that gun residue should be collected if possible. Seth Techel, 23, is on trial in Scott County, Davenport. He faces charges o

    July 21, 2014

  • Welding academy at Cardinal becomes reality ELDON — Many high school seniors find themselves making the decision to pursue college coursework or enter the work force upon graduation. A new program at Cardinal High School (CHS) eliminates this decision by offering courses that will allow studen

    July 21, 2014

  • Water requires extra caution OTTUMWA — Two area drowning deaths in two weeks have authorities focused on the topic of water safety. The Ottumwa Fire Department's Master Firefighter Bill Keith has trained with watercraft and performed multiple river rescues. This week, he said, h

    July 16, 2014

  • Plea settles kidnapping case OTTUMWA — An Ottumwa man originally charged with kidnapping will not serve prison time after a plea bargain to a lesser charge. Adem Anota received a sentence of one year in jail with credit for time served and the balance suspended after pleading gu

    July 16, 2014

  • 0722 stick horse color photo -L -T -M 4-H Expo encourages creatitivy OTTUMWA — Typically during the 4-H Expo, horses are kept at the horse arena in Ottumwa Park, but Saturday kids galloped around Bridge View Center on homemade stick horses. Children at the expo spent Saturday morning creating their own cowboy vest and

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gunshot victim found dead BLOOMFIELD — A man was found dead of a gunshot wound in rural Wapello County. However, no further danger related to the shooting is expected. Though authorities aren't giving full details of the incident, a press release said at 1:21 a.m. Monday the

    July 21, 2014

  • NEST program educates parents OTTUMWA — With any new job, you typically go through a training period that prepares you for the future. The Wapello County Iowa State Extension Office is offering both first-time and experienced parents helpful training through its NEST program. NES

    July 21, 2014

Photo reprints