Search for Missing Trooper Scaled Back as Leads Grow Cold

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BIG LAKE, Mo. – Authorities are scaling back the search for a missing Missouri Highway Patrol trooper swept away earlier this year by flood waters, saying that they have run out of places to look for his body.

Trooper Fred Guthrie, Jr., a 17-year veteran of the force, has been missing since August 1 when he was working flood patrol along the flooded Missouri River near Big Lake in northwest Missouri with his K-9 partner. The body of his dog was found the next day.

Searchers have been digging in a four-acre hole near highways 18 and 111 near Big Lake. A piece of clothing believed to be part of a trooper’s uniform was found on November 3rd, intensifying the search, but lab tests later showed it was not connected to Guthrie.

At another point cadaver dogs indicated the trooper’s scent, but again searchers came up with nothing.

Pumping equipment and heavy machinery used for digging  was shut down on Monday. A patrol spokesperson says that searchers will now reassess the situation and get other leads, while heavy digging will be replaced with foot patrols of the area. Authorities are also asking farmers to keep on the lookout for any possible evidence in the case.

Guthrie was declared legally dead by a judge in September.

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