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Search still comes up empty for missing man Tell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Larry Sack
Courtesy Photo­Image
Sheriff Jerome Kramer and posse rider Deanna Allison search the canal bank Saturday.
Courtesy Photo­Image
Searching Saturday. Riders sometimes moved higher to get a better angle.

Despite an all-out search, a North Platte man is still missing after disappearing a week ago at a canal near the Sutherland Reservoir.

Larry Sack, 61, went missing Sept. 3 when he didn't show up at a family picnic. Sack suffers from diabetes.

His silver Dodge pickup was found the next day parked at a Nebraska Public Power District canal six miles west of the Sutherland Reservoir, where he apparently went fishing. The line of Sack's fishing pole was in the water and his gear set out on the bank, Sheriff Jerome Kramer said.

Divers began painstakingly searching the bottom of the 15-feet deep canal, tied together, trying to cover every inch, the Lincoln County Sheriff's office said. The swift current and hazardous underwater rip rap made it difficult, Chief Deputy Rollie Kramer said.

The painstaking search continued until Saturday.

An airplane from the Nebraska State Patrol flew overhead and dogs were deployed to see if they could find Sack somewhere in the area.

The dogs were dropped in several places and consistently returned to the pickup and the fishing site, Chief Deputy Rollie Kramer said, indicating there are no scents of Sack elsewhere in the area.

On Saturday, more than 100 people – many of them volunteers -- searched the surrounding area, while 30 boats floated around the lake, Rollie Kramer said. Game and Parks officials brought underwater cameras and used sonar. Members of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Posse rode banks on horseback and dogs continued searching.

The search continued Sunday and Monday.

No signs have been found.

“We’re not giving up,” Rollie Kramer said Monday afternoon. “The canal water is declining by about 6-8 inches a day. We are hoping something will turn up by the end of the week, if not sooner.”

Kramer said the search will continue:

• Near the canal area by cars, pickups and all-terrain vehicles.

• Around the inlet and Sutherland Reservoir with watercraft and all-terrain vehicles.

• With search dogs Tuesday or Wednesday when it is expected to be cooler and damp.

• By air in private planes.

The canal is drained every five years for required maintenance, under the supervision of the Nebraska Public Power District and the federal government, Rollie Kramer said. The canal routes water from both Platte rivers to the Gerald Gentleman Station, where it cools the state’s largest electric power plant.

Some water is routed into Gerald Gentleman, but the water passes through a grate and screen that is cleaned daily, so Sack’s remains could not have floated into the plant’s cooling circuit, Kramer said. The rest of the water slopes into a rock pile and disperses into the reservoir.

Divers will not go into the inlet because it is extremely hazardous, with strong swirling currents and rocks, Kramer said. Cameras and sonar have been used to search the inlet.

Kramer said it is possible Sack’s remains are caught somewhere in the canal, the inlet or the bottom of the lake.

Kramer talks with family members every day.

“If there was anything more we can do, we’d sure try,” he said. “I think we’ve done about everything we can so far. From where he apparently went in, six miles away from the lake, and then the lake itself – it’s a big area.”

“We’re sill finishing some of the things that we started," Kramer said. "At some point, I hope he surfaces. For the family’s sake, it can’t be soon enough.”

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 9/10/2012
Copyright © 2012 northplattebulletin.com - All rights reserved.
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